The opposition to CETA and TTIP has been unprecedented in the history of the EU. Concerns have been expressed by millions of people across the continent, including lawyers, academics, political parties, local authorities and virtually all sectors of civil society. Many governments have also expressed reservations on CETA. Only the Walloons, however, had the guts to show it the red card.
Investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are perhaps the most contentious aspects of TTIP and CETA. These mechanisms provide foreign investors with the right to sue the EU or its Member States in private tribunals over potential losses in profit due to current or new public welfare regulations.
European governments today failed to sign off the EU-Canada trade deal known as CETA. Campaign group Global Justice Now welcomed the defeat of CETA deal, which they claim will lead to an increase in the power of big business over our food standards, public services and decision-making. They called on the EU to stop the negotiations of CETA.
TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – appears to be dead. The German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, says that “the talks with the United States have de facto failed”. The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, has announced “a clear halt”. Belgian and Austrian ministers have said the same thing. People power wins. For now.
Juncker has just announced that CETA - the EU-Canadian trade agreement similar to TTIP - could go ahead with just the approval of EU leaders and the European Parliament, bypassing national parliaments. This directly contradicts EU law, which says that CETA (like all agreements that affect national legislation) should also be decided on by national parliaments. This is an outrageous attempt to undermine our democratic rights.