The co-president of the Greens/EFA Group has sent a letter (1) to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, following the decision of Canadian authorities to refuse Greens/EFA MEP José Bové entry to Canada.
José Bové was invited to Montreal by the Council of Canadians, the Réseau québécois sur l'Intégration continentale (RQIC), Vigilance OGM, the National Farmers’ Union, the Union paysanne and Stop Oléoduc to discuss the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which is due to be signed by the EU and Canada on 27 October.
Greens/EFA President Philippe Lamberts, said:
"The unwarranted expulsion of José Bové is not a minor issue. It shows the discomfort of the leaders who will on 27 October sign a free trade agreement which is being increasingly challenged. It is contradictory and completely unacceptable that the Canadian government should actively promote freedom of movement for goods and services, while restricting the access of citizens to its territory.
"This hostile gesture doesn't bode well for the openness and free movement that are essential to a deal between the EU and Canada, which goes far beyond a simple trade agreement. In our view, no political or economic project is worth restricting the freedom of speech and expression. We expect a strong reaction from the European Parliament to the Canadian government."
(1) The full text of Philippe Lamberts' letter can be viewed on our website: www.greens-efa.eu/fileadmin/dam/Documents/Letters/letter_EN_lamberts_schulz_bove_121016.pdf