The European Parliament held a plenary debate on Israel and Palestine today, focusing on settlements in the West Bank

15/02/2017
The European Parliament held a plenary debate on Israel and Palestine today, focusing on settlements in the West Bank
Foreign affairs, human rights, security & defence, International trade & globalisation

Today, the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada in a final vote in Strasbourg. Following strong pressure from the Socialists and Democrats Group, the Commission took up key S&D demands.

15/02/2017

Today, the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada in a final vote in Strasbourg. Following strong pressure from the Socialists and Democrats Group, the Commission took up key S&D demands.

The Socialists and Democrats led the drive for settling trade disputes in a transparent and fair way. In CETA, the Investor-State Dispute Resolution System (ISDS) was replaced with the Investment Court System. The S&D Group ensured exclusive sovereign control of our own standards and public services as well as a guarantee of the precautionary principle. We also achieved a clear commitment to the right to regulate, excluding any liabilities for affecting the profit expectations of companies.

The S&D Group has made CETA better; however, this is not enough. We care about our citizens' worries and concerns. This is why for us, CETA is only a first step on the way towards a new progressive approach to trade. The era of unfettered globalisation must come to an end and be replaced by a more transparent, democratic trade system where the benefits are widely spread among all citizens.

Elena Valenciano, MEP and S&D spokesperson on foreign affairs and trade, said:

"With a protectionist US president openly questioning our multilateral world order, and the territorial encroach of Russia and China on the rise, more than ever as Europeans we must stand united and strengthen our ties with our closest allies. In today’s world there is probably no other country with whom we Europeans share more values and interests than Canada.

"Neither unfettered neoliberalism nor wall-building are viable answers to globalisation. As progressives, we must stand for openness, democratic rules, public oversight and protecting people by ensuring that trade is not only free but also fair - because no one else will. CETA is just one step on the road towards a progressive trade policy for which we will be pushing now more than ever, until we manage globalisation to the benefit of everyone."

S&D MEP Sorin Moisa, who is responsible for the CETA agreement in the S&D Group, added:

"CETA is not perfect, but it is the most advanced trade agreement the EU has ever concluded. The Socialists and Democrats led the drive to make the trade deal more progressive and we achieved many victories, most notably the replacement of the ISDS. In addition to the improvements already anchored in the text, we obtained further commitments from the Commission and the Canadian government for the future review and reform of CETA, especially on sustainable development and the Investment Court System.

"The EU-Canada trade deal has the potential to generate jobs in the EU and create new economic opportunities for EU companies, notably SMEs. CETA is the first step towards a progressive EU trade agenda. The S&D Group will continue to push for a transparent, inclusive and progressive review and implementation of CETA."