We were all holding our breath during Wallonia’s valiant battle against the concentrated power of the EU’s free trade lobby. Reading today’s headlines, you might think Wallonia has finally given in to CETA.
No, they have not. The EU-Canada trade deal is now further from being approved than it was 10 days ago.
In the new agreement, four of Belgium’s seven governments clearly say that they will not ratify CETA if there are no changes to ICS, the special court for foreign investors. Should the EU and Canada want to disarm this ticking time bomb, they will have to agree on some substantial, legally binding changes.
Belgium will also request a legal opinion of the European Court of Justice on ICS, meeting one of our long-standing demands. Just last week, we published a joint declaration of over 100 European legal experts who seriously doubt if ICS and ISDS are compatible with EU law.
So if you feel like celebrating an important victory from our resistance, this looks like the right time to do so.
We’ve shaken the EU’s schedule of CETA’s approval. Instead of nice pictures with Trudeau, Juncker and Malmström clinking their Champagne glasses, many of today’s headlines talk about why citizens, entrepreneurs, trade unions and over 2000 local & regional councils across the European Union are opposing CETA. This is a big breakthrough moment for all of us.
However, the fight is not over yet! The Belgian declaration might cause some headache in the Council for the coming days and loom, as the sword of Damocles, over the ratification procedure, but it won’t halt the machinery.
Next station for CETA is the European Parliament.Therefore, the next step for us is to contact our representatives in the Parliament and discuss CETA publicly. If you have not yet used the CETA CHECK to do this – now is the time.
And you don’t need to stop there.
Last week, citizens from all across Europe went to Brussels to meet their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on CETA. To share their experience with you, we followed them and made a few video interviews.
As your elected representative, it’s an MEP’s job to tell you where they stand on CETA. You don’t even have to go to Brussels to talk to them. For example, next week MEPs will be home to talk to their electorate – look out for events with them in your area. Give them a call or go and visit them in their local office: you can find all the numbers and addresses on the CETA CHECK.
Wallonia’s success was only possible thanks to your firm support. They have shown us (and other sceptical governments) that the CETA machine is definitely not invincible. So let’s keep up the fight and stop these murky, undemocratic trade deals for good!
Your Stop TTIP team,
Dániel Fehér, Stephanie Roth and Matthew Read