Dear Member of European Parliament,

We write on behalf of the European Public Health Alliance – Europe’s largest public health NGO advocating for better health – in view of the upcoming vote on the motion for a resolution seeking an opinion from the European Court of Justice on CETA’s compatibility with EU law, which will take place on Wednesday, 23 November.

Asking the opinion of the Court of Justice does not mean voting against CETA but will ensure that important parts of the deal will be checked in advance if they comply with EU law.

While international investment can be a powerful engine for economic development, as it stands the agreement is likely to delay, stop or reverse our efforts to regulate in the interest of public health in the EU and its Member States.

Ensuring that the suggested Investment Court System (ICS) in (CETA) is compatible with EU law is a key public health issue.  EPHA conducted a detailed legal analysis together with other public interest NGOs and came to the conclusion that revised investment protection measures will not stop tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy food companies and private investors in public services from challenging public health laws.

Therefore we welcome the European Parliament’s cross-party initiative to launch a motion for a resolution requesting an opinion from the European Court of Justice in order to obtain legal clarity and certainty on CETA. Indeed, very serious legal doubts exist today on the legality of CETA’s investment court system. Law professors, legal experts and the European and German Association of Judges believe that the Investment Court System in CETA is not legal under EU law.

In these sensitive times, where citizens are asking for guarantees to be able to trust trade agreements, it is paramount to at least verify if CETA is compatible with EU law. It is even more urgent now as the EU is about to propose the creation of a multilateral investment court system.

We trust you will take our views into account during the Plenary vote on the resolution on Wednesday, 23 November.

The European public health community counts on your support!

How CETA could undermine public health

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