The French Senate rejects the CETA agreement.  Strong risk of deterioration of the entire treaty

Today the French Senate They voted against ratifying the agreement CETA free trade between the European Union and Canada, thanks to the left-right alliance. In a very tense atmosphere, senators rejected by 211 votes to 44 the part of the bill related to this treaty, which had been applied temporarily since 2017 but had never been submitted to the Senate. They confirmed this rejection a few minutes later in a final vote.

The president of the National Bovine Federation (FNB) described the rejection as “good news.” Patrick Benezet, second vice president of the majority farmers' union FNSEA, rejoiced, saying that senators “finally had the opportunity to make the right decision, which is not to ratify a treaty that allows food that does not respect our production conditions.” And it was the farmers above all who They lobbied for the rejection of this free trade agreement which saw grain and meat production threatened by foreign imports

There is no consensus on his opinion. Nicolas Ozanam, General Delegate of the French Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters (FEVS), explained: “In a moment of economic difficulties (for exports in this sector), we are putting ourselves in a delicate situation that after a good dynamic (given that the treaty has been implemented) seems completely surreal for for us.” It is clear that opposition to the treaty is not uniform across all sectors of the French economy.

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A complex story of a little-loved treaty that was never fully approved

CETA was signed at the end of 2016, adopted by the European Parliament at the end of 2017 and has been provisionally applied since then. CETA has not yet been ratified by all EU national parliaments. The National Assembly, for its part, approved it by a narrow margin on July 23, 2019, by a majority of 266 votes to 213, which caused a record abstention rate among Macroni’s ranks at the time. The Italian government approved CETA in 2017 and Parliament In 2023.

In France, the treaty was never submitted to the Senate, despite numerous promises from the government. The Senate's rejection is not enough in itself to denounce the agreement at the European level, but the problems facing the government are not over yet. Now he will have to return to the Assembly for a vote that is completely uncertain as to the outcome.

Following the Senate vote, the Communist representatives announced, on Thursday, their intention to include the treaty on the agenda of the National Assembly on May 30, during their day in the Council. They announced in a press release that the Senate vote “cannot remain a dead letter,” noting that their group wants the text to be included in its “parliamentary status.”

“The National Assembly’s confirmation of the rejection of CETA will put an end to its implementation.”

If a national parliament, such as the French Parliament, rejects the Convention, its effect will cease throughout the territory of the Union. This was a terrible setback for the Commission and for Gentiloni, who had called for its approval.

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