So here we are again. Trying to stop the EU-Canada trade and investment deal CETA.
We’ve been fighting this one for a while. CETA was first proposed back in 2009. It was later dubbed the “little sibling” of the more famous EU-US deal TTIP. It is pretty much just as bad as TTIP though as it also includes ISDS – the obscure system of ‘corporate courts’ that allows multinationals to sue countries for standing up for their citizens.
Just like TTIP, CETA also has clauses on regulatory “cooperation” (translation: giving corporations a say in regulations so they are the lowest common demoninator) and clauses that risk locking in privatisation.
Thanks to one of the biggest activist mobilisations on trade policy of our generation, in which 3.4 million people signed a petition, we managed to beat TTIP.
And we came within a whisker of defeating CETA too when the Belgian region of Wallonia threatened to reject the deal. But thanks to some last-minute retouching (which has not changed much) CETA is now in “provisional implementation” subject to ratification by all EU member state legislatures.
But the fight is still on. Many countries have not yet ratified. And it just takes one country to say no and the whole thing grind to a halt.
The first chance to do this is in France. President Macron promised Canada’s PM, Justin Trudeau, that he’d get CETA ratified but thanks to a huge campaign in France, the ratification process has been much harder than he hoped. Macron’s party was forced to hold a full vote in the National Assembly and only won by a small margin (with many of his own MPs rebelling). Now the French Senate also has to ratify the deal but campaigners have succeeded in toxifying the deal in the public eye. A recent survey suggests that a huge majority of people oppose CETA.
And a slew of other countries still have not ratified. Germany is one of them, where our campaigners are working hard to convince members of the Bundesstag to say “nein” to CETA. In the Netherlands, the government of Mark Rutte may support CETA, but the coalition has lost its majority in the Senate meaning that defeat is a realistic possibility there. So if you are in the Netherlands, join the campaign there to stop CETA (and by extension ISDS).
So while it is getting to the endgame in the fight against CETA – the fight is most certainly not over yet. So get the message out and campaign in your local area (and of course if you have not signed the petition do so now).