Atlantico : This Thursday, the walloon government has reiterated its opposition to the proposed free trade agreement between the european Union and Canada, threatening him directly. The fact that the walloon region, small region at the level of the Union, to make its voice heard and can be an impediment to such a project, should it be considered as a good or a bad thing for the european Union, both on the democratic and institutional ?
Alain Wallon : In fact, it is the canadian government, which has – at least officially – an end to the negotiations with the european Union on the proposed trade agreement Ceta. Today, Canada is moderating its position : he wants the agreement, which was threatened the day before to go in the trash, on the condition that the Europeans settle among themselves their different.
Note that several parties in Canada, both the conservative Party that the Ndp is a social democrat, has pushed for the resumption of negotiations : if they have already lasted six years, why not one or two years longer if the content is worth the effort ? We can understand the spite expressed on Friday by crying and a dry snap of the door of the minister of canadian Trade which was obviously not prepared, neither intellectually, nor nervously, such a change of scenario at the moment hope to finalise the agreement with great fanfare. The red carpet was already ready to receive in Brussels, on the 27th of October, his boss, the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. One can imagine the state sideration of the two parties, the Walloons excepted, remembering the face bemused guests in these famous scenes of comedy and the anglo-american – I think of Three weddings and a funeral – where the hero says “no” against any waiting the fateful moment, or a loud voi ce rises from the back of the church with ribbons to oppose the marriage, destroying in a second the long-time effort of both families to prepare for the union of their offspring.
But the surprise effect does not alone explain the loud screams pushed at the time by the presidents of the Commission and of the european Council, MR Juncker and Tusk, nor the lamentations of the chorus of mourners, the ancient theatre, made up of columnists and commentators furibards, which is attached. We have read here and there that it was finished, folded up, that never more the european Union could not get back to a negotiating table to sign a commercial treaty on the international plane, even with the Vietnam – qualified indirectly of dictatorship by Mr. Juncker ! –, that the failure of six years of preparation in the Aacc was a low blow, almost final to the credibility of Europe, that it is, like the Gaul of Asterix and Obelix, was taken hostage by the equivalent of a village (think, 0.2% to the level of the european population)… theatre grand-guignolesque in reality hides, not the failure of the Aacc for him self since his bargaining will resume, but a method : that of the management in a transparent manner by the Commission’s negotiating mandate entrusted to it by the member States who remain, remember, the bosses for the whole year. Shake the specter of a catastrophe planetary and the paste on the back of an entity elected, legitimately involved in the decision-making process of one of the founding member States of the european Union, Belgium, is the same difficulty in understanding what that can do or rather undo today the accession of citizens to the european project.
however, as said strong about Paul Magnette, minister-president of the walloon region : “The crisis in Europe is deep. The democratic debate is not the problem, but the solution”. Wallonia would be part of the debate, require clear answers on points that are obscure but essential, such as the perimeter and the exact role of the famous courts of arbitration, of which we know that they remain a stumbling block central to the negotiations on the Ttip (or Tafta), the other project of a commercial treaty, transatlantic, seems perfectly legitimate. If by chance, thanks to a recent decision of the governments of Wallonia and of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the parliaments of these regions are now authorities the choice of federal, well so much the better ! Why not see a progress in the research of means and instruments in order to restore the nerve to democracy, to the dramatic shortage of representative democracy in terms of citizen participation , and the absence in general of political relays close enough to people to grasp ? We are a thousand miles of solutions-populist, with which it would like to confuse the branding in order to better to continue to cultivate this between-so of a political elite which more and more Europeans (or Americans…) think they are mostly for themselves and the economic interests of the most powerful. The institutions of the european Union to be thus stopped at the red light because they are well made, contrary to what is trumpeted by a number of eurosceptics, they do not confiscate no powers but relies first and foremost on the willingness of States to put a portion in common, this is rather a good news than a bad one.
Roland Hureaux : let’s Say that if Europe was a political entity normal, it would make a mess.
This is, in any case, something very representative of what has become the Europe of Brussels. On one side, a bureaucracy, dedicated work that seeks to impose on the peoples of Europe, supposedly for their own sake, a series of abstract principles : in this case always more than free trade; and the other, of the peoples who resist.
For years, the bureaucracy is increased further, above the heads of the States, it is true, very docile. Now, through the local authorities, the people are fighting back while the legitimacy of the eu bureaucracy is receding more and more every day. This is the price to pay for the deliberate weakening of the political forum par excellence, the only way to make the synthesis of the people’s aspirations and logic techniques or with the international States.
The treaty with Canada, Ceta, such as the treaty with the United States, is in abeyance for the time being (Tafta) are based on the premise that to bring the world economy out of the doldrums, there is a need to establish a free-generalized exchange.
This involves the dilution final of the european Union, which was initially established as a customs union, protected by a common external tariff, within a global space without barriers. This orientation is, whatever one may say, to the plan of the founding Fathers, at least of Jean Monnet, to which the european Community was that the test bench of globalization, or a world State.
This also implies a blind faith in free trade as a factor of progress, while more and more economists say that it is rather the cause of the crisis : the irony of history wants it to be a belgian economist Paul Bairoch, whose ideas were taken up by Emmanuel Todd, who, in analysing what happened in the world since 1800, has shown that the protectionism has led to the take-off of the biggest economic powers such as the United States or Germany.
I also find it funny that the difficulty arises between two countries, at least in part French-speaking : Canada and Wallonia.