Press release

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EU-Canada trade agreement

Commission backtracking on ratification process welcome but problems with CETA remain

The European Commission today set out a proposal as to how the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) should be ratified. Responding to the proposal, Green trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot stated:

"We welcome that the Commission has backtracked from its initial plan and is proposing a proper and democratic ratification process for this highly sensitive trade agreement with Canada. Crucially, the Commission has given into pressure and allowed national parliaments to also have a say over CETA. We would urge EU governments to confirm the 'mixed agreement' status to this end. This is in no small part thanks to the public mobilisation against the agreement. We nonetheless regret the plans to provisionally apply CETA. By-passing the democratic ratification process to fast-track the implementation of this highly controversial agreement would be a scandal. It is clearly essential that any application of the agreement takes place only after the ratification process has been concluded in all parliaments within a certain time frame and we would urge EU governments to respect this.

“Top of the list of public concerns with CETA is the provision for undemocratic investor-state arbitration tribunals for foreign investors, which are inaccessible to citizens and national companies. This will enable corporations to launch unilateral private actions against democratic decisions, which jeopardises core democratic values. CETA would set up a parallel legal system - domestic companies will have to go to ordinary courts whilst foreign investors will go via a separate court. This is unfair and makes no sense given the EU and Canadian judicial systems already function adequately. We will continue to push for this to be overturned, as well as for the overall agreement to be rejected.”