By Heini Järvinen

On 30 October 2016, Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) will be signed between Canada and the European Union. The text includes special rights for corporations, new obligations on so-called “intellectual property rights” and measures which create significant risks for citizens’ fundamental rights, most notably with regard to privacy and data protection.

It is a shame that nothing at all appears to have been learned from the political disagreements about the signature of this agreement. Concerns about the content of the agreement have been misleadingly portrayed as being motivated by opposition to trade or some sort of anti-Canadian sentiment,

said Maryant Fernández Pérez, Advocacy Manager of European Digital Rights (EDRi).

Pointing out the risks that CETA poses to citizens’ fundamental rights is not about being against trade or against Canada.

Unlike traditional “trade agreements”, CETA goes far beyond trade, touching upon privacy and data protection, as well as other fundamental rights. Civil society has repeatedly raised concerns about the lack of democracy and transparency of the negotiation process, problems related to the protection of the personal data of European citizens, the investment court system (ICS) introduced in the agreement to allow corporations to challenge government decisions, and the inclusion of intellectual property rights (IPR) to the agreement without debate, including measures that resemble very closely the text of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that was rejected by the European Parliament in 2012.

The agreement will be signed on Sunday 30 October by the representatives of the EU and Canada. To enter into force, it has to be still ratified by the European Parliament and the EU Member States, without an opportunity to make changes to a text that remains deeply flawed and, therefore, unacceptable.

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Read more:

CETA puts the protection of our privacy and personal data at risk (05.10.2016)
https://edri.org/ceta-puts-protection-privacy-and-personal-data-at-risk/

CETA’s cross-boder data flows will be provisionally applied (07.10.2016)
https://www.vrijschrift.org/serendipity/index.php?/archives/206-CETAs-cross-border-data-flows-will-be-provisionally-applied.html

CETA will undermine EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (04.05.2016)
https://edri.org/ceta-will-undermine-eu-charter-of-fundamental-rights/

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