CETA passes committee vote, GUE/NGL calls on MEPs to reject it in plenary
GUE/NGL MEPs have expressed serious concerns over the contents and lack of democracy in the process of the CETA agreement that was accepted by the European Parliament's International Trade Committee today.
The Committee voted to accept the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA) this morning, with 25 votes in favour, 15 against and 1 abstention.
GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur for CETA, Anne-Marie Mineur, comments: "I am disappointed and worried that the International Trade Committee has voted in favour of the CETA agreement."
"It is a terrible agreement for many reasons. Not only is there very little basis for all the big promises of jobs and economic growth, yet huge risks for our labour rights, environmental protection and consumer rights, but there are also still a lot of loose ends in the dossier. For example, serious doubts remain over the ICS arbitration system and the Joint Committee. The lack of democratic involvement and minimal transparency also set an alarming precedent for trade agreements to come.
"It is very worrying that only a manipulative populist like Donald Trump, who bases his economic views on chauvinism rather than a rational approach to sustainability and fairness, has taken up the demands from the real popular resistance to this type of trade agreement, while our own elites have so far ignored the will of the people," adds the Dutch MEP.
GUE/NGL Coordinator for the International Trade Committee Helmut Scholz, adds: "The majority of MEPs that voted in the Committee today have ignored the thousands of cities and regions across Europe and the hundreds of thousands of citizens who have clearly said that they do not want this agreement."
"They have also ignored the analysis of experts who predict negative consequences from CETA. Serious estimates indicate that more than 200,000 jobs could be lost in the EU as a result of further market liberalisation generated by this agreement. CETA would not bring the big economic growth that has been promised. After seven years, it would only increase the gross domestic product of the EU by 0.03 per cent. The income gap between skilled workers and unskilled labour will increase. For these reasons, the European Parliament's Employment Committee has also expressed its opinion against CETA.
"Regulatory cooperation, with which the company's interests are incorporated into legislative processes, is also present in CETA, not only in TTIP, but also in a modified form. The controversial 'Investment Court System' (formerly known as the investor-state dispute resolution mechanism or ISDS), introduces special rights for corporations to sue governments under conditions favourable to them. This has led the Parliament's Environment Committee to also oppose CETA.
"Those who have properly examined this agreement have opposed it. Sadly, the majority of the International Trade Committee have instead chosen to ignore the evidence and the agreement is being rushed through the Parliament without proper analysis or debate.
It is expected that the European Parliament will vote on CETA during the February plenary session.
"The hope of our population is now in the hands of the 751 MEPs who will vote on this agreement in the plenary session of the Parliament and the member states who must vote on whether to accept the agreement in their national parliaments.
"The resistance to this agreement will not stop here. More than 2,000 cities, municipalities and regions in the member states of the European Union have already declared themselves to be TTIP- and CETA-free zones," concludes the German MEP.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75