The European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) approved the draft recommendations suggesting giving consent to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada.
The vote is met with strong disagreement by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), which already expressed its deep concerns regarding CETA in its publication ‘The Unhealthy Side Effects of CETA’. CETA does not provide guarantees that public health will not suffer the unwanted consequences including: opening the door for businesses to challenge public health laws, limiting policy choices for Services of General Interest (social, healthcare, education, water), promoting tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy food and ignoring the global health threat of antimicrobial resistance. The legal uncertainty surrounding the compatibility of the Investment Court System (ICS) and EU law is especially worrying.
“We share the legal concerns raised with regard to the incompatibility of ICS with EU law. This ambiguity may also affect European and national health laws -and the INTA Committee has failed to address these shortcomings.” commented Zoltán Massay-Kosubek, Policy Coordinator for Healthy Trade, EPHA. “This is bad news for public health: obtaining a better deal for health and consumers is still a possibility, but for that the European Parliament needs to stand up for European citizens and fix the problems first.” he added.
This resolution effectively gives the green light to CETA and this is the penultimate step in the ratification process. The Plenary Session of the European Parliament will have the final word on CETA later in February, most likely in the presence of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
For more information: