In an open letter to EU President Donald Tusk, the co-presidents and trade spokespersons of the Greens/EFA Group demand that the decision on signature, conclusion and provisional application of CETA is withdrawn from the agenda of today’s Trade Minister Council meeting in Luxembourg. They argue that the Council lacks the institutional and political legitimacy to proceed towards ratification of CETA, given that at least two member states – Germany and Belgium – should not be able to indicate their participation at this stage. They also recall the widening doubts among legal scholars and practitioners about the compatibility of CETA with the European Treaties. They demand a suspension of the CETA decisions, as long as such issues are not clarified.
President of the European Council
Brussels, 18 October 2016
Regards: CETA decisions at today’s Trade Minister Council Meeting
Dear President Tusk
The agenda of the trade ministers council meeting of today, 18. October, in Luxembourg foresees decisions on the conclusion, signature and provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada (CETA). The Green Group in the European Parliament calls on you to suspend these decisions, because it cannot be guaranteed at the present moment that all Member States will be able to proceed towards ratification. We refer specifically to
- the preliminary ruling of the German Constitutional Court of 13. October which in its conclusion formulates conditions for a future ratification of Germany that the CETA agreement text in its present form would not be able to fulfil, especially a German unilateral withdrawal from the provisional application of CETA;
- the decision of regional Parliaments in Belgium to not authorize the federal Ministry for Trade to conclude and sign the CETA Agreement.
Thus, today’s Council meeting lacks the necessary legitimation to decide on the further process of CETA.
The recent developments in Germany and Belgium come on top of growing concerns of prominent lawyers, law professors and advocates general regarding the compatibility of CETA with the European Treaties.
In the context of growing public mistrust in European institutions and policies, it is a wrong and politically inadequate signal to proceed towards the start of the ratification process for the mere reason that a EU-Canada Summit is set for the date of 27/28 October.
Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts, Co-Presidents of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament
Yannick Jadot and Ska Keller, Trade spokespersons for the Greens/EFA Group in the EP