Despite large opposition, CETA limps forward in the European Parliament

By EDRi · January 24, 2017

On 24 January 2017, the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) voted in favour of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), despite the concerns about fundamental rights and the right to regulate.

We regret that the international trade committee appears to be motivated by short-term political objectives, rather than what is actually written in the text of CETA. CETA does not contain adequate protection for online fundamental rights nor for Europe’s right to regulate.

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

CETA is portrayed as a trade agreement, but it goes far beyond trade. It touches upon privacy and data protection, the right to access knowledge, as well as other fundamental rights. EDRi is particularly concerned about:

  • the negotiation process, which was not very transparent or democratic;
  • the weak protection of the personal data and privacy of European citizens, in relation to the cross-border data flow commitments in the Agreement;
  • the investment court system (ICS) introduced in the agreement to allow corporations to challenge government decisions; and
  • the inclusion of intellectual property rights (IPR) obligations in the agreement that resemble the failed ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).

To be ratified, the agreement needs to be approved by a final vote of the European Parliament and the Member States of the EU, neither of which have the right to make changes to the text.

The European Parliament plenary vote on the Agreement is scheduled for 15 February, but it is possible it will be postponed. National and local NGOs will have to fight hard in the ratification process of CETA in each of the EU Member States.

Read more:

CETA signature ignores Agreement’s flaws (30.10.2016)

CETA puts the protection of our privacy and personal data at risk (05.10.2016)

CETA’s cross-boder data flows will be provisionally applied (07.10.2016)

CETA will undermine EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (04.05.2016)