The EGP opposes CETA

Resolution adopted at Zagreb Council, 15-17 May 2015

The full text can be downloaded in .pdf here

Introduction

The European Green Party’s position paper on the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) states that the agreement is based on unrealistic economic promises, constitutes an assault on democracy and threatens to weaken EU standards. Therefore the position paper declares that it is the European Greens’ goal to defeat this TTIP agenda. This position paper, however, only mentions that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada, like TTIP, undermines multilateralism. This resolution aims to make European Greens’ opposition to CETA much stronger since CETA is based on the similar reasons of secretive negotiations, an antidemocratic investor-state dispute settlement, the watering down of EU standards and economic gains for corporations and not for people.  

Resolution

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada has been negotiated, and is now awaiting ratification at EU level (European Parliament and Council) and by national parliaments. CETA is one in a number of new generation trade agreements that concern themselves not only with tariffs, but also with regulations and regulatory powers, the so-called non-tariff barriers.

  1. As a result of the secretive manner in which CETA was negotiated, the agreement’s full official text was only shown to the European population once it was completed. European Greens believe this secrecy undercuts democratic values.
  1. The secretive document contains a chapter on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which allows for corporations to sue states should their regulations be deemed to cause a loss of profit. The European Greens believe that this form of private justice is contrary to democracy and to the principle of equality under law. Therefore, we demand that no agreement containing ISDS, such as CETA, is ratified, and that no other agreements containing ISDS are negotiated. Non-discriminatory investor protection and redress of grievances must be ensured via state legal and judicial systems, not via private judiciaries.
  1. Moreover, the European Greens believe that CETA does not serve the interest of the European people: It threatens to water down public health, food safety and environmental regulations, labour rights and equality under law, instead prioritising corporate interests. Furthermore, it threatens public services. The provision of a so-called “negative list” for the liberalization of services is unacceptable as it amounts to liberalization by default. Even though we believe that trade with Canada can be beneficial to Europe, we think that these benefits should not be detrimental to communities’ capacity to control regulations affecting everyday-life, health and safety, or to Canadian and European efforts to lower carbon emission by reducing unnecessary transportation and to generally address the climate crisis.
  1. Therefore, the European Green Party opposes CETA and believes that the agreement should never come into force. Consequently the European Green Party calls on all Green members of parliaments and members of the European Parliament to vote against this agreement. 
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