(16 February 2016) – The European Parliament’s vote on ratifying CETA, the EU-Canada trade agreement, revealed the deep divisions among socialists across the EU, in particular in the “engine of Europe” – France and Germany.
MEPs backed CETA yesterday (15 February) with 408 MEPs in favour and 254 against; 33 abstained. CETA will now face the hurdle of being ratified by the 28 member states. The ratification process varies from country to country, with some requesting approval in national parliaments.
The centre-right EPP was largely united, with only five out of 206 MEPs voting against. But in the centre-left S&D group, out of a total of 174 MEPs who voted, 66 voted against CETA – and against the instructions of their party group – and 13 abstained.
More interestingly, all 13 French socialist MEPs voted against, while German MEPs were largely in favour, with only five out of 24 German SPD MEPs voting against. Three abstained.
The country map by VoteWatch also shows big divisions among the socialists of the 28 member states. (EurActiv)