After 10 months of discussions in parliamentary committees, ratifiacion of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada is making headway in the Lithuanian parliament.
Seimas Hall
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

On Thursday, the Seimas approved the two draft resolutions for discussion, with final votes planned for later.

"It is important because, as we know, the process on the free trade agreement with the US has stalled, and the agreement with another country across the Atlantic, a key ally, breaks the ice in a way," Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said.

In his words, the ratification will allow Lithuania's small-sized enterprises to save around 1 million euros due to reduced imports duties. He recalled that currently around 150 Lithuanian companies exported to Canada, inclduing 80 percent being small- and medium-sized.

As part of ratification, the Lithuanian parliament tends to approve a special statement on imports of genetically-modified organisms (GMO) and hormone-treated beef.

The parliamentary resolution also includes a suggestion to authorize the Foreign Ministry to deposit the parliamentary resolution together with the CETA.

Opinions on the proposal split during the Thursday's plenary.

Liberal MP Aušrinė Armonaitė dismissed the initiative as “lacking legal order”, adding that “parliamentary resolutions cannot authorize executive institutions.”

Meanwhile, MP Mindaugas Puidokas of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) said that the resolution would protect Lithuania from reducing EU quality standards via the so-called Joint Committee.

BNS
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