Belgium has reached a deal over EU-Canada trade partnership called Ceta. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said they had agreed on an addendum to the deal which addressed regional concerns over the rights of farmers and governments.
The changes will still have to be approved by the other 27 EU members.
Previously, the deal was wetoed by Belgian region of Wallonia because of no guarantees to local farmers and environment issues.
But after the latest round of marathon talks, Mr Michel tweeted: “All parliaments are now able to approve by tomorrow at midnight. Important step for EU and Canada.”
He did not give further details, but the premier of the Flemish region, Geert Bourgeois, said the original text of the trade deal remained the same.
“This is a clarification. The actual treaty does not change,” he said.
Canada’s Foreign Minister Stephane Dion said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the deal was back on track.
“Once bitten, twice shy, we hope that the Europeans have agreed between themselves because Canada is ready to sign,” he said during a visit to Paris, adding that “if the news you announced becomes reality, it is excellent news”.
A spokeswoman for Canada’s Global Affairs ministry said the latest developments from Belgium were “positive”, but there was “still work to do”.
“There remain additional steps before signing. Canada has done its job. We negotiated a progressive agreement that will create jobs and growth for the middle class. Canada remains ready to sign this important agreement when Europe is ready,” she said.
European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted, “Only once all procedures are finalised for EU signing CETA, will I contact PM @JustinTrudeau”.
Conclusion: The Ceta was saved by Wallonian MPs