European Parliament supports CETA, but last word is for national parliaments

15 February 2017

European Parliament supports CETA, but last word is for national parliaments

Foto: SP

The European Parliament's vote in support of CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada, was not unexpected but was in the SP's view disappointing. CETA will come into force as early as the beginning of April, but has still to be ratified by the member states.

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur notes that the national parliaments do have a great deal of power when it comes to international treaties like CETA. “Any member state can in principle reject this proposal. Given the widespread unrest in many countries, I wouldn't rule out that in contrast to the Association Agreement with Ukraine, dissent this time won't be confined to a single country. Apart from the parliaments the German Constitutional Court and possibly the European Court of Justice have still to pass judgment. Elections are approaching in a number of countries where such treaties aren't popular, so I remain hopeful that the CETA is going to die the death.

Mineur sees the treaty principally as a goodie-bag for European, Canadian and American multinationals: “CETA undermines regulations which have been fought for by trade unions, environmentalist organisations and consumer groups,” she explains. “It introduces an arbitration system that can reverse democrtically-taken decisions. And it sets up a hotline for multinationals to the European Commission, so that they can, without any interference from the European Parliament, let it beknown which legislative proposals they want to see approved and which they want rejcted.

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