European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today reaffirmed his commitment to CETA – the EU-Canada trade deal – calling it as "the best and most progressive agreement that we have ever entered into."
His comments came during the annual State of the European Union address, where he also spoke about his regret at the slow pace of the ratification of the Paris climate agreement ("Dragging our feet on ratification affects our credibility and makes us look ridiculous") and promised to protect farmers ("The Commission will always stand by our farmers") and citizens' rights ("In Europe, consumers are protected against cartels and abuses by powerful companies").
Magda Stoczkiewicz, Director of Friends of the Earth Europe, said "If CETA – the EU-Canada deal – is the best trade agreement we have, I'd hate to see the worst. President Junker's continued devotion to both CETA and TTIP undermine his pledges on climate and the protection of citizens and workers, including farmers."
On reform of Europe's financial system, President Juncker also spoke about the "urgent [need to] accelerate our work on the Capital Markets Union."
Commenting on this, Magda Stoczkiewicz continued: "We are very disappointed that President Juncker is not planning to reboot the European financial system to prioritise environmental, social and governance factors. Financial resilience should be defined by sustainability, and we urge the Commission to change tack accordingly.'