A skeptical France has encountered a big hurdle a few days before the start of a new round (the 14th of TTIP negotiations. According to the French Vice-Minister Matthias Fekl, “There is absolutely no chance to conclude an agreement by the end of Obama’s term.”
The vice-minister said Europe waited a long time for a signal that did not arrive. It is primarily a consequence of Brexit, because now the biggest sponsor of the agreement is out of the game. The E.U. trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem answered back and gave the other important news of the day: The free trade agreement between the E.U. and Canada, known as CETA, is legally active, exclusively under E.U. competence, but “since some member states do not agree to it,” the E.U. Commission proposed a shared competence ratification involving the national parliaments.
In the previous weeks, Germany had expressed its opposition to a single E.U. ratification. For now, “the invitation to member states to sign on quickly,” and that the trade agreement enters provisionally into force “as usual,” once they got the OK of the Council and the E.U. Parliament.