National parliaments must have right to decide on trade treaties

26 December 2016

National parliaments must have right to decide on trade treaties

Foto: Court of Justice of the European Union

Advocate-General Eleanor Sharpston, senior advisor to the European Court of Justice is of the opinion that national parliaments of the member states must be given the chance to participate in decision-making in relation to the conclusion of a trade treaty with Singapore. The SP agrees, and wants to see this advice followed.

Commenting on the Advocate-General’s view, SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur said, “Trade treaties such as the TTIP and CETA must of course be discussed by the national parliaments. What we’re seeing now is that the European Parliament has scarcely any involvement in these treaties, but the multinationals’ lobbyists have more and more. By shifting the responsibility to national parliaments you’d be conducting the debate closer to home and the voters would at least be given a chance to have their say.”

In the Dutch national Parliament, the SP’s Jasper van Dijk believes it’s correct to give his own and the other member states’ parliaments the chance to express their opinions. “Treaties of this sort affect far more than just trade,” he says. “For example, the intention is that complaints from overseas investors would be resolved in a separate court of arbitration, and not by an ordinary court which would look at both national laws and international treaties. We question also why there has to be a special committee to cook up future legislation in advance with corporate lobbyists. The Dutch Parliament should not be agreeing to treaties which erode our democratic system in this way.”

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