For the time being, Belgium refuses consent to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada

CETA in dire straits

Utz Tillmann (director-general of the German chemical industry association VCI) on the gridlock in the signing of the trade agreement CETA, due to the refusal of several Belgian regions:

VCI director-general Utz Tillmann: "The negotiations between Belgium, the EU Commission and Canada should not be abandoned. The EU economy strongly depends on global trade and needs a modern free trade agreement." - Photo: © VCI/Mendel
VCI director-general Utz Tillmann: "The negotiations between Belgium, the EU Commission and Canada should not be abandoned. The EU economy strongly depends on global trade and needs a modern free trade agreement." - Photo: © VCI/Mendel

“Where the trade policy is concerned, regional politicians in Belgium have brought the entire EU to a standstill. Due to their refusal, many years of political work on CETA with compromise on both sides cannot be finalised as planned. This is truly deplorable. Regardless of this setback, the negotiations between Belgium, the EU Commission and Canada should not be abandoned. The EU economy strongly depends on global trade and needs a modern free trade agreement. Furthermore, CETA proves to the world that the EU is a reliable partner who is able to take political action – now and in the future.”


The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2015 the German chemical industry realised sales of around 189 billion euros and employed 446,000 staff.

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