EU trade ministers will meet tomorrow (13 May) with the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) on the top of their agenda. Commenting ahead of the Trade Council, Green trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot stated:
"There are legitimate concerns that the European Commission and EU governments in favour of CETA are trying to pull a 'fast one' and provisionally apply the agreement before it has been fully ratified. By-passing the democratic ratification process to fast-track the implementation of this highly controversial agreement would be a scandal.
"While EU trade commissioner Malmström has tried to allay fears by claiming there would be no provisional application before the European Parliament has voted on ratification, this is not sufficient. Given the major issues surrounding CETA, it is crucial that national parliaments are also involved in the ratification process and we would urge EU governments to confirm the 'mixed agreement' status to this end. 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 specified timeframe.
“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.”