Germany Ceta . but agrees with Brussels on the clarification

Germany Ceta .  but agrees with Brussels on the clarification
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Parts of the free trade agreement with Canada have been in use since September 2017 – but only in areas for which the EU is undoubtedly fully responsible.


(Photo: DPA)

Berlin, Brussels In the debate about the SITA free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada, the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and the European Union Commission have agreed on a clarification. The protection for investors should be more clearly described, both sides announced Monday.

It aims to rule out any misuse of the CETA agreement with legal certainty. One of the criticisms of Ceta is that it unilaterally protects corporate interests to the detriment of climate, environmental and social issues.

In particular, the terms of “indirect ownership” and “fair and equitable treatment” of investors are now more precisely defined, the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced. “The main objective here is to ensure that necessary measures in terms of climate, energy or health policy are not undermined by investors or lead to claims of damages,” it said.

Ceta is provisionally in force from 2017. For the agreement to be fully implemented, however, national parliaments must ratify it. Because of this the Grand Alliance and initially the SPD, Greens and FDP failed. Notably, the Greens blocked themselves. An agreement between parliamentary groups provided for controversial points on investment protection to be restricted by additional declarations so that the Greens could also accompany them.

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Informal talks between the Federal Ministry of Economics and the European Union Commission have been going on for some weeks so that the traffic light can actually implement its specific wishes. The objective is to develop a joint proposal for the declaration.

In the next step, they want to promote that other EU member states support the new declaration, it said. After that, the EU Commission will consult with Canada’s partners.

Sita: SPD expects ratification soon

The Greens’ leader, Katharina Droge, was satisfied with the statement. “Have agreed to rectify the traffic light seta and deactivate the arbitral tribunals,” Droge told Handelsblatt. “This is what is derived from the clarification on investment protection and a narrower definition of protection clauses.”

Green Party leader Katharina Droges

Droge is satisfied with this decision.

(Photo: IMAGO/Christian Spyker)

The proposal would significantly limit the misuse of problematic standards. “I am sure that we can convince many member states to take this path.”

The chairman of the trade committee in the European Parliament, Bernd Lang (SPD), told Handelsblatt that the new definitions now agreed are “nothing revolutionary”. Basically, the spirit of the SETA treaty is being rewritten, he said. Now, however, nothing stands in the way of ratification in the Bundestag this year. “It’s going to happen very quickly now,” he said.

Franziska Brantner (Greens), Parliamentary Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry of Economics, emphasized that Germany wanted to ratify SETA. “However, it is important that within the framework of the existing agreement it is clarified that the common goal of climate protection is made possible and abusive applications in the field of investment protection are prevented.”

The union’s economic policy spokeswoman, Julia Klockner, spoke of a “sedative pill” for the Greens. “The EU Commission’s approval for the federal government’s interpretation is possible because it not only changes nothing significantly, but nothing in the long-standing contract,” the CDU politician said. Sita could have been ratified long ago.

>> Read here: oh how beautiful canada

Parts of the free trade agreement with Canada have been in use since September 2017 – but only in areas for which the EU is undoubtedly fully responsible and its member states are not.

Full accession is possible only after all member states ratify the agreement. So far 16 states have agreed. The federal government had agreed to work towards a clarification prior to ratification.

with agency material.

More: New complications with Sita – Brussels rejects the federal government’s plans.

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