Podcast: 'Trade Deals vs Democracy: Where the Two Shall Meet'

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    Photo by DPIR

In the fall of 2016, Wallonia’s Minister-President Paul Magnette, of Belgium’s Francophone Socialist party, stepped into global spotlight as “the man who made Canada weep”, “the icon of democracy” or a “trade populist,” as he led an underdog campaign to reform the EU-Canada trade agreement under the threat of Wallonia’s veto.  The saga concluded with an agreement in December 2016, but the controversy is still raging, especially in light of the Donald Trump presidency.  What should be the shape of trade agreements in the XXIst century?  What legal, health and environmental standards should they respect?  Who should adjudicate investor disputes?  And what kind of democratic scrutiny should they come under?  In the wake of the controversy, Paul Magnette drafted the “Namur Declaration” along with 30 academics spelling out the credo behind his action.  In response, another 60 academics issued a counter declaration “Trading Together” defending the role of supranational institutions.  For the first time since the autumn 2016 events, Paul Magnette discusses what happened and explore with us where we should go from here. We have representatives from the other side too. 

Speakers: Karl Falkenberg, Paul Magnette, Kalypso Nicolaïdis

Professor Kalypso Nicola├»dis is Professor of International Relations, Faculty Fellow, St Antonys College