Deal puts interests of big business first
The European Parliament has today (15 Feb) voted in favour of CETA. Commenting on the vote, Greens/EFA trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot said:
"This is a defeat for the EU and for the prospect of regulating globalization by putting human and social rights and the environment ahead of the interests of big businesses. A majority of MEPs, including the EPP, Liberals and many from the S&D, have shown themselves to be deaf to the well-grounded concerns of civil society, employees, consumers, local authorities, SMEs, lawyers and citizens.
"The European Parliament has failed to learn the lessons from the Brexit vote and Trump victory and has increased the power of the multinationals at the expense of citizens. Let's not forget, CETA was negotiated by former Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper, a well-known climate sceptic, and former Commissioner De Gucht, who had various business interests. This conflict of interest laid the ground for an agreement built by, and for, big businesses.
"With this vote, this majority plays into the hands of the extreme right and nationalist forces which are on the rise all over Europe, and which have already came to power in the United States. It will benefit all those who want the EU to disintegrate and throw itself into the arms of foreign powers. In the face of Trump or Putin, we need strong partnerships, not for more deregulation, but to build together the strongest possible environmental, health, social, agricultural and animal welfare standards, and to fight against tax havens and climate change. In order to do this, we must put an end to CETA. The Greens will continue the fight in countries all across Europe."
Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller added:
"The European movement for fair trade is a huge success. They did not win today, but the large mobilisation is a major achievement nonetheless. It is a testament to the tireless campaigning of civil society that the majority in favour of CETA in the European Parliament has been considerably reduced. We believe that the momentum against CETA will have an impact on the ratification process at member state level, the struggle is not over yet. This deal already belongs to a past era of non-transparent trade deals, but Europe's future relationship with Canada can still be a positive and progressive force in the world."