OPEN LETTER TO AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR - CHRISTIAN KERN
H.E. Christian Kern
Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria
October 6, 2016
Your Excellency, Chancellor Kern
We, the undersigned, wish to commend you on the concern you have expressed at the potential negative impacts of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, and we call on you to vote against the ratification of the agreement when it comes before the General Affairs Council of the European Union this month.
You are aware of the huge concern that exists across Europe as to the unprecedented new powers that will be granted to North American businesses as a result of trade deals such as CETA and the parallel Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and USA:
- A record 3.5 million people have signed the European Initiative against CETA and TTIP, from all 28 EU member states.
- The European Trade Union Confederation, representing 45 million workers across Europe, has confirmed its outright opposition to CETA.
- The European Public Service Union, representing 8 million European public service workers, has called for the rejection of CETA over its threat to public services.
- National and regional parliaments in Belgium, France, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Netherlands, Bulgaria and Romania have raised serious concerns relating to CETA that could block its ratification at the national level.
- The SPÖ’s sister party in the UK, the Labour Party, has just reaffirmed its opposition to any form of investment court system in EU trade agreements, including CETA.
Recent initiatives undertaken to ease the passage of CETA through the ratification process have done nothing to address the fundamental concerns as to the agreement’s negative aspects.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has confirmed that the binding declaration proposed to ‘clarify’ certain issues in CETA will do nothing to alter the text of the agreement. That declaration will be unable, therefore, to address our concerns as to the substance of CETA.
The introduction of the proposed Investment Court System means that CETA will still grant North American investors the right to sue democratically elected European governments in their own
privileged judicial system.
The proposal presented to the EU’s Trade Policy Committee on 16 September for provisional application of CETA means that substantial parts of this highly controversial agreement will still be brought into force before the democratic process of national ratification has run its course.
We commend your repeated statements of concern as to the potential negative impacts of CETA, and we call on you to defend the rights and interests of the people of Europe from the threats posed by CETA by voting against the ratification of the agreement.
EUROPEAN & INTERNATIONAL NETWORKS
European Network against Health commercialisation
Food & Water Europe
Friends of the Earth Europe
Health and Trade Network
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (Europe)
Council of Canadians
National Union of Public and General Employees
Réseau québécois sur l'intégration continentale (RQIC)
Trade Justice Network
2B Fair Foundation
Akademie an der Steilküste
Aktionsbündnis No Moor Fracking
Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL)
Asociaţia România Vie / Romania Alive Society
BI Fracking freies Hessen n.e.V.
BI lebenswertes Korbach e.V.
Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) e. V. / Friends of
the Earth Germany
Bürgerinitiative FrackingFreies Hamburg
BürgerInneninitiative Umweltschutz Uelzen
Campaña estatal "No al TTIP, CETA y TiSA" (España) - 340 organisations
Citizen's Initiative "Saubere Umwelt & Energie Altmark"
Civilna iniciativa za sLOVEnijo in svOboDO
Compassion in World Farming
Comunitatea Uniţi Salvăm / United We Save Community
Confédération paysanne PACA
Corporate Europe Observatory
Ecologistas en Acción
Emmaus Aurinkotehdas ry
Europe and we Association
Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Education - FSIE
Food & Water Europe
Forebyggelses- og Patientrådet
Forum Umwelt & Entwicklung
Foundation for environment and agriculture
Frente Civico Somos Mayoría - Valencia
Friends of the Earth Denmark
Friends of the Earth Finland
Friends of the Earth Ireland
Fundacja Kuźnia Kampanierów
Fundacja Strefa Zieleni
Gemeinnütziger Umweltschutzverein pro grün e.V. Paderborn
Global Justice Now
Initiative stopp TTIP BGL/TS
Kehys - The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU
Klimaat -en vredesactiegroep Pimpampoentje
KMU gegen TTIP Germany
Les Amis de la Terre
Links Ecologisch Forum - Forum Gauche Ecologie
Maattomien ystävät ry
Mehr Demokratie e.V.
Mehr Demokratie e.V. LV Hamburg
MES - Mouvement pour l'Economie Solidaire
National Justice & Peace Network
Nature Friends Greece
New Wind Association
Plataforma No al TTIP-CETA d'Elx
Rettet den Regenwald e. V.
STV Som Energia Valencia
Transnational Institute (TNI)
TTIP Network Finland
UFISC - Union fédérale d'Intervention des Structures Culturelles
USTEA (Unión de Sindicatos de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores en
War on Want
Wir gegen fracking Lüneburg
Women Against Nuclear Power
Women for Peace
Za Zemiata, Friends of the Earth Bulgaria
ZELS Združenje etažnih lastnikov Slovenije
ZERO - Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System