Rush to adopt EU-Canada trade deal would increase distrust in mainstream politics

Brussels – The accelerated application of an EU-Canada trade deal (CETA) – as proposed today by the European Commission – would increase distrust in mainstream politics and threaten democracy and environmental protection, warned Greenpeace. The Commission is pressing for a swift application of CETA, before national parliaments are allowed to take a vote.

The Commission recognises that the agreement requires the approval of national parliaments, but insists that the deal should apply even before parliaments can take a vote.

Greenpeace calls on EU governments to reject CETA to protect environmental, health and labour standards.

Greenpeace international executive director Jennifer Morgan said: “In the midst of widespread discontent with mainstream politics epitomised by Brexit, politicians should listen to growing public criticism of trade deals like CETA and TTIP. Applying CETA before national parliament approval would just add fuel to the fire.”

Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said: “If the EU Commission and some national governments have their way, CETA would line up environmental and social protection like dominos in a row. Big business could easily send them tumbling using special courts designed to wipe out anything that stands in the way of private profits. The EU should instead protect people and nature against corporate privilege and safeguard democracy and environmental, health and social standards.”

One of the most contentious areas in CETA is the so-called Investment Court System, which allows multinationals to challenge government public policy outside existing national and EU courts.

EU trade ministers are expected to discuss and then vote on the Commission proposal for CETA ratification at meetings in September and October.

CETA is widely seen as a test for the troubled TTIP agreement – an EU-US trade deal that is currently under negotiation.

Contact: Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,

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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.