CETA: MEPs put European Parliament on the wrong side of history

Photos and video of this morning’s protest.

Strasbourg/Brussels, 15 February 2017 – Support for the controversial EU-Canada trade and investment protection deal – known as CETA – puts the European Parliament on the wrong side of history, warned Greenpeace.

Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser Shira Stanton said: “Despite today’s vote, the ratification of CETA by all of Europe’s parliaments is still the most unlikely outcome. But the disconnect between MEPs and public concerns over living standards, public health and the environment is another blow to the EU, just when its principles of solidarity and cooperation are most needed.”

“Millions are taking to the streets on both sides of the Atlantic against a rollback of social and environmental rights. Instead of standing up for justice and democracy, too many politicians continue to hand privileges to multinational corporations. Politicians in Europe and elsewhere – especially those who call themselves progressive – should put the public interest before corporate profits.”

The European Parliament’s support for CETA is likely to clash with the opinions of national and regional parliaments in Europe, when they vote on the trade deal, said Greenpeace. And questions remain over whether CETA can survive the scrutiny of the European Court of Justice. Belgium will seek a ruling on the legality of a controversial system – known as the Investment Court System (ICS) – which allows multinational corporations to sue states under CETA, but not the other way around.

Earlier today, protestors in Strasbourg warned that CETA would hand corporations the power to sue governments and threaten laws that protect nature, public health and social rights. Greenpeace activists kept a sinking statue of Lady Justice afloat in the river surrounding the European Parliament and displayed banners reading: “Sink CETA, not justice”.

Shira Stanton – Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser: +32 (0)477 790 415,
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,

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