Tomorrow (17/07/2018), the EU and Japan will sign the biggest bilateral trade deal in history, covering almost one third of global GDP with implications for over 600 million people. Once ratified, JEFTA will be incredibly difficult to amend. Therefore, every line of JEFTA must be scrutinised and carefully considered before the European Parliament can proceed with ratification later this year. The Greens/EFA group regret that Member States have already decided to approve this agreement, without giving national parliaments the possibility and time to voice their opinions in advance of any conclusions at EU-level.
Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament stated:
"We want national parliaments to have the necessary time to go through this agreement before the European Parliament vote. JEFTA is further evidence of a lack of will to reform EU trade policy towards sustainability and fairness. This agreement demonstrates that the European Commission remains deaf to the criticisms expressed by European citizens around both CETA and TTIP. The fact that JEFTA is being concluded without an Investor-State Dispute Settlement proves that it is not needed, especially between two democratic and industrialised countries. That's why we strongly urge the European Commission to halt the current parallel negotiations with Japan on investment protection, which could bring in ISDS through the backdoor."