The SP is extremely concerned about developments around the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. Negotations on the treaty are now complete, and it remains only for it to be approved. A glance at the contents shows that CETA is in fact the TTIP by the back door. The SP is opposed to both treaties.
SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur, referring to the Canadian treaty, warns: “Don’t be distracted by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – the TTIP – with the United States; CETA is just as dangerous. Every American corporation with a substantial interest in a Canadian firm can take advantage of the CETA treaty’s provisions – and that goes for two-thirds of all American companies. It’s true that the Canadians approved a somewhat beautified version of the Investor State Dispute Settlement system, the controversial ISDS, but it remains a separate court procedure for foreign investors. These investors can drag governments in front of the courts and claim damages of hundreds of billions in taxpayers’ money.”
The SP expects the definitive treaty to be dealt with by the European Commission before the summer, after which the EU Council of Ministers will be able to study the details of the text. In all probability the national parliaments will then have the opportunity to give their views.
Jasper van Dijk, who represents the SP in the Netherlands’ own national parliament in The Hague, is demanding that trade minister Lilianne Ploumen not allow the treaty to come provisionally into force before national parliaments have expressed their opinions of it. “We don’t accept that the decision should be taken exclusively in Brussels when it comes to radical trade treaties like the CETA and the TTIP,” he says. “Parliament has to have a full voice in this. Our preference would be for a referendum as well.”