22.05.2021 – 13:11
With nearly 50 civil society organizations and initiatives, consumer organization Foodwatch has called on the Greens to reject the controversial free trade agreement with Canada (CETA). In the current election manifesto, the party is “clearly” moving away from its apparent numbers for a trade deal, warning federal presidents Anna Elena Berbock and Robert Habeck in an open letter published on Saturday to the NGO coalition. “We urge you to explicitly include the CETA Free Trade Agreement, including its provisional application in the election manifesto for the 2021 federal election, and formulate clear requirements for future trade agreements,” it says.
The party’s executive electoral program draft writes that the Greens do not want to “ratify CETA in its current version, but leave it with a currently applicable parts application”. Civil society organizations sharply criticized this formulation: large portions of CETA could remain in force for years – without the Bundestag and the Bundesrat voting on the treaty. It “undermines democracy”, the unions declared. CETA’s provisional application allows so-called “CETA contract committees” – including representatives of the Government of Canada and representatives of the European Union Commission – to make far-reaching decisions, for example on health and consumers, without any parliamentary control – and Environmental standard.
“A few months before the general election, Ms. Barbock and Mr. Habeck want to secretly remove CETA’s unpleasant subject from the table with a subordinate clause in the election manifesto. But with this they are shaking up the party base that struggled for it. Sal on the streets against the agreement. The Green leadership accepts that large parts of the agreement may be temporarily implemented in an endless loop. It is a scandal that, with the consent of the Greens, committees that have not been democratically legitimated. Environmental and consumer standards that are binding under international law behind closed doors. “, Explained Rona Bindewald to Foodwatch.
The NGO alliance called on the Greens to stop CETA and renegotiate it from the ground up. This is possible only if the Bundesatag or the Bundesrat reject the agreement. “You should work for this vote,” appealed the organizations.
The CETA agreement between the European Union and Canada has been implemented temporarily since 2017. However, this has not yet been confirmed by all member states of the European Union, including Germany. If one of the countries says “no”, then CETA is off the table. In Germany, both the Bundestag and the Bundesrat must agree. However, when and if this will happen is unclear.
According to a recently published legal opinion by Foodwatch, parts of CETA that have already been implemented also have severe democratic shortages and can have negative consequences for health and consumer protection in Europe. In secret CETA treaty committees, representatives of the Government of Canada and the European Union Commission can take far-reaching decisions, for example on sanitary controls on meat imports or on the recognition of equality of safety standards in relation to pesticides – a democratic control EU parliament or member National parliaments of countries are missing. Once resolutions are passed by CETA committees, the EU can no longer unilaterally repeal them, the report continues. Even if EU states agree, for example, to tighten mutually recognized safety standards for pesticides through committees, it cannot apply to Canadian products without Canada’s consent. Because rules denying CETA obligations automatically violate international law.
The Greens ‘draft will be discussed and finalized at their federal representatives’ conference from June 11 to 13. Party members have introduced several amendments to CETA.
In addition to FoodWatch, 47 other civil society organizations, coalitions and initiatives signed the open letter, including Attack Germany, Bund, Campact, Forum Environment and Development, Greenpeace, Mehr Demokrati, Netzwerk Gerachter Welthandel, NABU and Pan Germany.
Source and more information:
- Offener Brief an den Bundesvorstand der Grünen: Wort halten - CETA stoppen! http://ots.de/W46tPd - E-Mail-Protestaktion von foodwatch: www.ceta-stoppen.foodwatch.de - Wahlprogramm der Grünen. Zu CETA, S. 41: http://ots.de/vO4geg - Änderungsanträge zum Wahlprogramm: https://antraege.gruene.de/ - foodwatch-Rechtsgutachten zu CETA: http://ots.de/Wq3TB0
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Original content from: Foodwatch EV, news sent by Actuel