The agreement still needs to receive 38 more thumbs-ups from the national and regional parliaments so as to be sealed
Maria Koleva, Brussels
A week ago the European Parliament concluded the ratification process at the EU level on CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada, adopting the accord by 408 votes to 254, with 33 abstentions. CETA will be provisionally put in place immediately after the Canadian parliament ratifies it and the kick off is expected in April.
Conservative Fillon is close to knockdown, liberal Macron emerges as main contender of far-right Le Pen
Rumyana Kochanova
The race for the Elysee Palace has become a bitter struggle. The three main contenders for the presidential elections in two months are now embroiled in a vicious exchange of mudslinging. Latest opinion polls show far-right presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen retaining the lead and wining 26% of the vote in the first round on 23 April.
 
Giles Merritt
Pity the EU’s top officials as they contemplate next month’s 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Planned as a glorious popular celebration, it’s shaping up to be a political embarrassment.
 
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