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.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

This is what you need to know about the Iran nuclear deal

A brief history of cryptography and why it matters

Global South cooperation ‘vital’ to climate change fight, development, Guterres tells historic Buenos Aires summit

On Youth Participation: Are we active citizens?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Verizon boasts momentum for IoT platform

In 1975 NASA envisioned future life in space would look like this

Human rights ‘core to sustainable development’: deputy UN chief

Alarming number of women mistreated during childbirth, new UN health agency figures show

Service and Sacrifice: Ugandan ‘Blue Helmets’ support UN efforts to bring peace to Somalia

Withdrawal Agreement: Commission sends letter of formal notice to the United Kingdom for breach of its obligations under the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

This is how we can empower 8 billion minds by 2030

MEPs call on EU Commission to step up action against dangerous chemicals

It’s down to cities to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030

4 key steps to support cross-border payments and digital trade growth

A Brussels antithesis reveals where the EU is heading

Balancing The Broken See-Saw of Gender Power Dynamics as a Medical Student

IMF: When high yield goes boom

VP McGuinness on women’s rights: “Not an option, but a duty”

Blockchain will make sure green pledges aren’t just greenwash: a new initiative by young leaders at the World Economic Forum

Why countries are desperate to defy the odds and access Mars

Egypt: The road to hell paved with western advices for democracy

Rohingya emergency one year on: UN says thousands of lives saved, but challenges remain

5 ways CEOs can renew their businesses for the digital age

MWC 2016 LIVE: Stripe gives payments leg-up to startups in emerging markets

Tackling pollution and climate change in Europe will improve health and well-being, especially for the most vulnerable

UN experts voice ‘deep concern’ over Iran’s ‘consistent pattern’ of denying life-saving medical treatment to detainees

3 lessons from running an AI-powered start-up in Africa

How studying genetics and lifestyle can shape a healthier MENA region

Fighting crime: faster EU-wide exchange of non-EU nationals’ criminal records

China Unlimited: an exclusive interview with the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

Financial abuse of elderly ‘rampant, but invisible’, says UN expert

George Floyd: these are the injustices that led to the protests in the United States

What is the IMF telling Eurozone about fiscal and banking unification?

Will Europe be able to deal with the migration crisis alone if Turkey quits the pact?

Code of Practice on Disinformation one year on: online platforms submit self-assessment reports

Electric vehicles are half the market in Norway

EU mobilises further €15.2 million humanitarian support for food safety, epidemics preparedness and support to people in conflict areas in Latin America and Caribbean

Universal Health Coverage will ‘drive progress’ on 2030 Development Agenda

Marco Polo’s Dream

UN Convention that promotes mediation to resolve trade disputes moves closer to entry into force

6 principles to unite business in the fight against cybercrime

Trade with the United States: Council authorises negotiations on elimination of tariffs for industrial goods and on conformity assessment

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Metallo by Aurubis

If a virus could sing … Could this musical version of COVID-19 help us defeat the disease?

‘Exercise restraint’ Guterres urges Sri Lankans, as political crisis deepens

How global food safety protects the planet and begins on the farm

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

EU Strategy on COVID-19 vaccines must guarantee safety and accessibility for all

UN Security Council offers Yemen Special Envoy ‘their full support’

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

Why EU’s working and unemployed millions remain uncertain or even desperate about their future

Confidence-building measures continue in new Yemen prisoner-swap talks

EU leaders slammed on anti-tax evasion inaction and expensive energy

The new European Union of banks is ready

New Syria fighting represents ‘giant powder keg’, warns aid veteran, as he leaves UN stage

Sweden must urgently implement reforms to boost fight against foreign bribery

Young people worldwide can ‘determine the future of migration,’ says UN senior official

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

Why artificial intelligence is learning emotional intelligence

More Stings?

Advertising

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