Winkler: Ottawa uses an EU map with only 26 Member States

MEP Iuliu Winkler (RMDSZ, EPP), Vice-Chair of the International Trade Committee (INTA), is urging the European Commission to communicate its undertakings as concerns the removal of the visa regime for Romanians and Bulgarians wishing to travel to Canada. The RMDSZ MEP´s plea has surfaced in the INTA meeting of Wednesday afternoon, in the context of the debate on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – CETA – between the EU and Canada.

“Let me start by stating my firm support for the EU-Canada agreement. CETA is good for our economies, for our bilateral trade, for growth and for jobs. Nevertheless, there is a problem with the Canadian Government. They seem to use an old map of the EU. According to this old map, the EU seems to have only 26 Member States, at least from Ottawa´s perspective. There are two Member States of the EU, which will not participate in CETA, since there are still visa requirements in place for the citizens of these two Member States. I am talking of course about Romania and Bulgaria. I therefore ask the Commission to send an updated EU28 Map to Ottawa. In case the Commission does not think this would solve the matter, would you be kind to tell us what exactly are you doing in order to solve this issue of the Romanian and Bulgarian visa with our Canadian partners? One thing I am sure of; if the present situation remains unchanged, more than 25 million EU citizens from Romania and Bulgaria will not benefit from CETA. I find this unacceptable”, declared Iuliu Winkler.

The CETA negotiations have been concluded, and the consolidated text was made public in February 2016. In the upcoming months, CETA will enter the ratification process in the European Parliament, as well as in the national parliaments of the 28 EU Member States. This agreement is important for the Romanian economy, even though the trade volume between Romania and Canada is relatively modest, with the total value of Romanian exports to the Canadian market reaching only €75 million in 2015.