As of: 06/23/2022 6:58 p.m
The provisional CETA trade agreement between the EU and Canada has long been controversial among the SPD and the Greens. Now the mood has changed. The traffic light coalition wants to get CETA through the Bundestag soon so that it can be ratified.
Ratification of the EU’s interim CETA trade agreement with Canada is drawing near. The factions of the SPD, Greens and FDP want to pass the ratification law before the summer break, and the Bundestag should also soon get a chance. This was announced by representatives of the three coalition factions in Berlin.
To do this, however, they want to make improvements to the agreement that has already been negotiated. According to Green Party leader Katharina Dröge, this is about the regulations on investor arbitration courts, which should be “defused”. These bodies are designed to deal with complaints from investors. However, corporations should not be able to use these instruments in such a way that they could put pressure on environmental regulations, said Dröge.
Above all, the right to special prosecution was a reason for criticism
“After intensive negotiations, with this agreement we have created the basis for a new trade policy that will be fairer and more sustainable,” said Green Party leader Katharina Dröge. The Greens in particular have had concerns, for example about the special right of corporations to take legal action provided for in the agreement.
CETA has been in force for the time being since September 21, 2017 – but only in those areas for which the EU alone is undoubtedly responsible and not its member states. The other parts are on hold pending ratification.
According to Greens parliamentary group leader Dröge, the planned changes would not mean that the entire ratification process would have to be rolled out. “The ratification process does not have to be interrupted,” she said. All that is needed is a majority among the EU states and the consent of the EU as a whole and of Canada.
EU needs approval from twelve states
In the EU, there is still no approval from twelve countries, including Germany. Canada and the EU themselves have yet to ratify CETA. Therefore, nothing changes with the agreement between the traffic light factions.
“The breakthrough at CETA has been made,” said SPD parliamentary group leader Verena Hubertz. At the same time, the coalition will advocate a new generation of trade agreements that also have sustainability and social rights in mind.
Trade is important, especially with a liberal democracy like Canada, according to FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr. “Free trade with the world’s democracies is more important than ever.”