“The wrangling over CETA puts the EU in a very poor light. The parties involved must continue to do everything they can to conclude CETA rapidly. That is the only way for the EU to show it is functional and a reliable negotiating partner.
“There must never again be such a drawn-out process as we have seen with CETA. We should review the decision that trade agreements can be presented to all EU Member States for a vote. Otherwise, in the long term our trading partners will find us unpredictable and thus unattractive. Trade-policy issues have long been the responsibility of the EU.
“Following the Brexit vote, it is now more important than ever that Europe must not tear itself apart. It would be fatal if the EU were no longer in a position to realize its interests successfully in international agreements.
“CETA is one of the most progressive of all trade agreements worldwide. It respects various cultures in a unique manner. It secures environmental and consumer protection. Those vehemently protesting against this agreement, including – unfortunately – some relevant political forces in Germany, are actually demonstrating their opposition to free trade. But taking action against worldwide free trade means consciously putting millions of jobs in German industry at risk.”