CETA is more and more an empty shell

14 October 2016

CETA is more and more an empty shell

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada is more than ever an empty shell, and the decision of the German Constitutional Court in its favour as well as the haste with which the European Commission has given the treaty its approval, are starting to acquire laughable proportions. The SP is opposed to the agreement in its entirety, but suggests that at the very least the verdict of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) should be awaited.

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur has put a number of questions to the European Council, which directly represents the governments of the member states. “An important condition imposed by the Constitutional Court is that only those sections which come exclusively under the EU's competence may be brought into provisional force. Yet the question of how powers over trade treaties should be divided up is currently the subject of a legal case before the ECJ concerning the treaty with Singapore. The decision in this case is expected early in 2017. We should at least wait for it.”

The German Constitutional Court's demands in relation to CETA are markedly more exacting than you would guess from reports in the media. The Court has chosen to impose a 'yes, provided...' approach which gives Germany, and the European Council, little elbow room. Aside from the restrictions placed on the provisional application of the treaty, Germany is obliged to demand a veto in the joint committee that will have the task of judging future legislation under a system dubbed “regulatory cooperation”. Germany must have the power, in addition, to opt out of the treaty if it conflicts with the German Constitution. It's clear that all other member states could demand the same.”

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