Promises from the EU and Canada that they have improved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are fooling no-one, according to Friends of the Earth Europe. It remains a dangerous agreement that gives special rights to corporations and threatens democracy and the environment, says the group.
EU Trade Commissioner, Malmström, and Canada’s Minister for International Trade, Freeland, today jointly announced the completion of the legal review of the CETA. According to the parties, CETA is set to include an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause, which will be modelled on the EU proposal for an ’Investment Court System’ (ICS) in the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Friends of the Earth Europe – alongside hundreds of other civil society groups – has strongly criticised the ICS proposal as it keeps the hotly contested ISDS alive and puts governments’ right to regulate in the public interest in great danger. The legality of the new EU proposal has also been questioned by judges across Europe who stated that arbitrators in the new system do not comply with minimum standards for judicial office.
Natacha Cingotti, trade campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said:
“Today’s proposals for CETA offer no significant improvement to the dangerous agreement and should fool no-one. The Investment Court System is nothing but private arbitration under another name, keeping VIP rights for foreign investors fully alive and allowing them to sideline the legal system in Europe."
“We urge governments to listen to the millions of people across Europe who are calling for a full rejection of TTIP and CETA. In its current form, CETA should not be signed.”