The European Parliament has today rejected a call from a coalition of MEPs, including Greens/EFA members, to refer the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
Various legal experts, including the German Association of Judges and an Advocate General of the ECJ, have argued that investment court systems could be incompatible with EU law.
Commenting on the decision, Heidi Hautala, who led the proposal on behalf of the Greens/EFA group said:
"We are extremely disappointed that the majority of MEPs have chosen to reject our call to refer CETA to the European Court of Justice. Given the huge controversy around the deal, and the serious questions that have been asked regarding its compatibility with EU Treaties, there was a clear-cut case for asking the Court to express a view. Indeed, a number of legal scholars and practitioners have called for the Investment Court System to be checked against the EU treaties, including an advocate general of the ECJ itself."
Greens/EFA trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot added:
"In spite of today’s decision, an opinion from the European Court of Justice is still urgently needed and we would call upon the Belgian government to respect the agreement with Wallonia and refer the deal to the ECJ. The European Parliament should put the brakes on the ratification process to allow time for this to happen and take the opportunity to scrutinize the various potential impacts of CETA. The Parliament had an opportunity today to prove that it was willing to stand up for the common good and ensure that this deal is not merely nodded through. With citizens demanding more powerful regulation of trade globalization, it is imperative that legal and democratic sovereignty are prioritised over the economic interests of a few multinationals."