300 REPRESENTATIVES GATHERED IN THE CITIZENS' CETA SUMMIT
Public representatives from across Europe and Canada demand end to CETA deal
Parliamentarians from across Europe came together in Brussels today to demand an end to controversial EU-Canada trade deal, CETA.
Elected local and regional representatives from countries including Spain, France and Germany, joined MEPs to highlight CETA´s threat to workers´rights, environmental regulations and public interest legislation.
Gerardo Pisarello Prados, First Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, said: “CETA endangers social and environmental rules, workers’ rights, and small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe and North America.
„CETA will threaten the capacity of local and regional governments to protect these rules and rights, and even our ability to promote our local economies. That’s why Barcelona has joined a large group of cities and municipalities that share our concerns about TTIP, CETA and TiSA – so that together we can defeat these undemocratic trade deals.”
The European Commission is desperately trying to force through CETA´s ratification this week, in the face of stiff opposition in Wallonia, Belgium, which adds to major concerns in other states, including Germany, Austria and Poland.
In recent weeks, an admission from MEPs that the text of CETA is flawed – by failing to safeguard workers´rights, public services or the threat of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) - has added to a study highlighting CETA´s threats to EU jobs, growth and intra-EU trade.
Ska Keller, MEP, Greens-EFA, said: „The CETA agreement closes the door to creating a fair system of world trade. It establishes a system that allows big multi-lateral companies to unilaterally sue governments at local, regional, national, and European level for their democratic decisions.
„It is an anti-democratic pact and therefore we have to stop it. Good schools, affordable health care, the quality of water and the cheap supply of energy are essential for a healthy community life, but CETA endangers this by allowing for the liberalisation of public services.“
Amir Khadir, Member of the National Assembly of Quebec, Canada said CETA is anything but a „free trade“ deal: “The Free Trade Agreements are free only by name. In Quebec, CETA will have major consequences and impact many aspects of our lives: from what is on our plates, to our local products, through dangerous products safety standards, the price of medicines, SMEs’ access to public procurement and our territory’s protection.
„On both sides of the Atlantic, policymakers should ignore the business elite lobby and look into CETA taking into account the interests of the people.”
MEPs from the Greens-EFA, GUE-NGL and S&D blocs, among others, invited mayors and councillors from the 2,087 cities, villages and regions which have declared themselves „TTIP and CETA free zones“ to discuss the impacts of CETA on citizens and local authorities.
The meeting follows on from a meeting of mayors and councillors from TTIP and CETA free zones that took place in April 2016 in Barcelona.
You can find pictures of the event here.