And while many were happily toasting Magnette and the Wallonia delegation, critics of the deal also emphasized the growing movement against these anti-democratic agreements that helped lead to CETA’s downfall.

“This major setback for CETA is not just because of Wallonia alone,” said Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “There is deep, widespread opposition to CETA and many millions of people agree with Wallonia’s stance.”

“Thousands across Europe and Canada spoke up and took action to make this happen,” added Barlow, who is currently in Germany campaigning against CETA. “This collapse of attempts to reach a deal on CETA shows governments should listen to people instead of trying to push these deals through against the wishes of the people they’re elected to represent.”

As Dearn further explained, “Since talks first started on CETA back in 2009, the deal has sat alongside TTIP [referring to the U.S.-E.U. agreement] as an example of how not to do a trade deal—absolute secrecy, zero input from public interest groups, and sheer contempt for the very valid concerns of people across Europe.” 

“Today we have seen the European Commission’s chickens come home to roost,” he continued. “If the Commission fails at yet another trade deal, the fault lies wholly with its anti-democratic approach.”

Speaking from the negotiations in Belgium, Sujata Dey, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians, agreed. “It’s time to take a long hard look at CETA and what this breakdown means for corporate-led globalization, including for other controversial deals like the [12-nation TPP].”

“It’s time for a fundamental shift toward international agreements that put people and the planet before corporate profits,” she added. “That’s the message from Europe today.”

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