CETA signed after 7 years of negotiation
The CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) has been signed.
European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the agreement yesterday following a summit.
CETA had been in doubt due to the objections by the Belgian state of Wallonia had raised concerns early last week.
The room was met with warm applause following the signing of the treaty.
Others are however less enthused and numerous protests have taken place across Germany and other EU countries, where protesters alleged governments were intent on ratification without asking the opinions of their people.
Greenpeace has said of CETA, “Just like TTIP, it presents a great threat to environmental and consumer standards and undermines our democratic structures.” Environmentalists worry that the deal will accelerate the mining of oil from tar sands in Canada, one of the most polluting and carbon-intensive ways of extracting oil. CETA is also seen as the thin edge of a wedge towards genetically modified crops and diminished food quality standards.
Irish MEP Luke Flanagan has described CETA as a Trojan horse, a back-door through which conglomerates will try to flood the European marketplace with cheaper goods and services. In addition, aspects of the deal allow for the creation of a new legal system under which companies can sue sovereign European states if they feel that restrictions or regulations, designed to protect people from perceived lower standards, are costing them money.
[Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, image via Getty images]