by Karl Nerenberg
On May 21, the European parliament debated the issue of Canadian visa requirements for citizens from Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic as it could affect the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations. You can watch the proceedings on the Europarl website or else on BBC, which ran an article yesterday about the spat.
The European debate, as well as Canadian immigration and refugee policy reforms making their way through parliament this month, virtually ignore the plight of Roma in Europe, exposing yet again the Harper government’s policy of putting trade before human rights.
CETA “will need the approval of the European Parliament – and MEPs from the centre-right, liberal, socialist and democrat groups warned on 21 May 2012 that they might be inclined to vote against the agreement unless Canada drops its demands,” explains the British broadcaster, confirming reports from Canadian media a few weeks ago that the visa issue could blow up and even stop ratification of CETA if not addressed soon.