Will CETA be implemented after eight long years or it will be vetoed by the EU citizen?

From left to right: Mr Jean-Claude JUNCKER, President of the European Commission; Mr Justin TRUDEAU, Canadian Prime Minister; Mr Donald TUSK, President of the European Council; Mr Robert FICO, Slovak Prime Minister. Location: Brussels - BELGIUM Date: 30/10/2016 Copyright: European Union Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

From left to right: Mr Jean-Claude JUNCKER, President of the European Commission; Mr Justin TRUDEAU, Canadian Prime Minister; Mr Donald TUSK, President of the European Council; Mr Robert FICO, Slovak Prime Minister.
Location: Brussels – BELGIUM
Date: 30/10/2016
Copyright: European Union
Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

It was last Sunday when the EU and Canada signed the free trade agreement CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), despite the protest taking place just outside the European Council’s building. This deal is meant to create more jobs and growth through stronger economic relations.

However, the approval of the national parliaments in Europe and of the European Parliament (EP) is mandatory in order for CETA to be fully implemented. The fact that lots of people are fiercely against it and believe that it will damage consumers’ and workers’ rights, by providing extra power to multinational companies, is not encouraging for the future of this trade pact.

CETA at what cost?

CETA is the instrument that aims to increase bilateral trade by 12 billion euros per year boosting the sluggish European economy. Canada would also be benefited by reducing its dependence with the U.S. as an export market.

But there are some points in the trade agreement that could be dangerous and unfair for smaller companies, environmental standards and workers’ and consumers’ rights. The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause is one of them, since it grants the privilege to the Canadian firms to sue governments in case new laws affect their profits and consequently causes serious concerns to the EU citizens.

There are examples that prove that the ISDS system has been used in the past for the benefit of corporations. Particularly in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NEFTA), Metalclad, a U.S. landfill management firm sued the Mexican federal government over a local government’s decision to deny a permit to operate a toxic waste dump. Local citizens at the time urged their government to deny the permit in fear of water supply pollution. The outcome of that dispute was that Metalclad won more than 15 million dollars.

According to Pascoe Sabido from the Corporate Europe Observatory, this agreement hands over the power to large corporations. More specifically, Pascoe Sabido said that: “This has been a deal written by, and with, big business. You can see it in who’s coming out. SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises) have said, ‘We’re not in favor of CETA or TTIP.’ Those who are cheerleading it are those very same big businesses so you have more rights being handed over to big business, you have their investors being protected, and ultimately what we’re seeing is the profits of the biggest businesses put before the interests of European citizens and those across Europe who actually want to have a decent quality of life.”

Protests around the signing ceremony

The bumpy road to the signing of CETA was full of massive protests which broke out in several EU countries revealing the opposition of a great part of EU citizens to this trade deal. Even last Sunday and while the European officials were signing the trade deal with the Canadian Prime Minister, protesters attempted to enter the European Council building in Brussels by breaking the security fence. The latter led to serious escalations and 15 people were detained by the Belgian police.

It seems that people together with organizations against free trade pacts will keep on fighting against the CETA implementation as they see that there is still time. The national and regional parliaments in Europe together with the EP are now left to decide whether they consider CETA an agreement that can create more opportunities upgrading the well-being of EU citizens.

Wallonia’s resistance against CETA

Wallonia managed to block CETA and delay its signing showing that even a small region has the power to change the outcome of such a trade deal. The question now lies on whether other countries will hold similar stance putting barriers to the implementation of this economic agreement which aims also to create business opportunities for EU corporations in Canada. In case that the EP decides to consent CETA will come into effect partially in the beginning of 2017.

The future of free trade agreements

The signing of CETA inescapably paves the road for the Transatlantic Trade Agreement (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP) between the EU and the U.S..

However, the magnitude of TTIP and the negotiations that have been undertaken so far do not reveal that there will be an agreement in the near future. It is also a fact that Brexit has caused serious turbulences within Europe creating significant nationalistic sentiments which undermine such trade deals.

All in all, it seems that the EU citizens are realising more and more that free trade agreements aim mainly at the profitability of large multinationals and not at their own prosperity.

Consequently, it is up to each and every national government to decide now what is best for its citizens and act accordingly.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

To my Chinese friend

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

An open letter from business to world leaders: “Be ambitious, and together we can address climate change”

THE COMMITTEES: From the colonies to the space race – past, present, future converge in Fourth Committee

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

Eurozone banks to separate risky activities: Can they stay afloat?

Joint advocacy letter template to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Lack of involvement, or lack of opportunities?

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

FROM THE FIELD: A UN peacekeepers-eye view of DR Congo

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

EU-Russia relations: the beginning of a warmer winter?

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

The European Parliament double-checks the EU 2014-2020 budget

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

Want a more inclusive society? Start with mobility

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

UN urges ‘restraint’ in Bangladesh’s post-presidential election violence

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

A Sting Exclusive: “China-Africa Cooperation Sets a Fine Example of South-South Cooperation”, by China’s Ambassador to EU

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

UN agency chief calls Ethiopia’s revised refugee law ‘one of most progressive’ in Africa

Draghi tells the Parliament the ECB to use all its weaponry; euro slides to parity with the dollar

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

These charts show where the world’s refugees came from in 2017 – and where they’re heading

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

Better care, stronger laws needed to save 30 million babies on the brink of death

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Is ECB helping Germany to buy cheaply the rest of Europe?

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Three ways the world must tackle mental health

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

MWC 2016 LIVE: EC adds Brazil to partner tally

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

The representatives of the regions and the cities know better what the EU needs on migration, trade, poverty and taxation

Climate Change: a challenge yet to be tackled in medical schools

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

Climate change will never be combatted by EU alone while some G20 countries keep procrastinating

Guinea-Bissau: Upcoming elections vital to prevent ‘relapse’ into instability, says UN envoy

This is the world’s greenest football club – and you’ve probably never even heard of it

EU to increase spending and improve delivery of education in emergencies and protracted crises

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

‘12 million’ stateless people globally, warns UNHCR chief in call to States for decisive action

Bid to raise $5.5 billion for millions of Syrians and their host communities

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s