22.05.2021 – 13:11
Along with nearly 50 civil society organizations and initiatives, the consumer organization Foodwatch has called on the Green Party to reject the controversial Free Trade Agreement with Canada (CETA). In the current election statement, the party is moving “clearly” away from its apparent rejection of the trade agreement, as the NGO coalition warned in an open letter to Federal Presidents Analina Burbock and Robert Habek published on Saturday. “We urge you to include a clear rejection of the CETA free trade agreement, including its provisional application in the election manifesto for the 2021 federal elections, and to formulate clear requirements for future trade agreements,” she says.
The party executive wrote in the draft election program that the Greens do not want to endorse CETA in “its current version, but they want to leave it with the application of the parts currently in effect.” Civil society organizations have sharply criticized this formula: thus large parts of CETA can remain in force for years – without the Bundestag and the Bundesrat to vote on the treaty. The associations declared that this “undermines democracy”. The provisional application of CETA allows so-called “CETA Contract Committees” – made up of representatives of the Canadian government and representatives of the European Union Commission – to make far-reaching decisions, for example on health and consumers, without any parliamentary oversight – and environmental standards.
“A few months before the general election, Ms. Burbock and Mr. Habick wish to secretly remove the unpleasant topic of CETA from the roster with a secondary clause of the election manifesto. But by doing so they ignore the party rule that has fought for years on the streets against the agreement. The agreement may remain in effect temporarily in an endless loop. It is a scandal that, with the consent of the Green Party, illegal committees can democratically take decisions on environmental and consumer standards binding under international law behind closed doors.FoodWatch explained Rauna Bindewald.
The NGO Coalition called for the Greens to stop CETA and renegotiate it from the ground up. This is only possible if the Bundestag or the Bundesrat rejects the agreement. The organizations resumed, saying “they should work for a similar vote.”
The CETA agreement between the European Union and Canada has been in place temporarily since 2017. However, it has not yet been ratified by all EU member states, including Germany. If one country says “no,” CETA is off the table. In Germany, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat must agree. However, it is unclear when – and if – this will happen.
According to a legal opinion recently published by Foodwatch, the parts of CETA that have already gone into effect have serious democratic flaws and could have negative consequences for health and consumer protection in Europe. In the CETA secret committees, representatives of the Canadian government and the European Union Commission can take far-reaching decisions, for example on hygiene controls over meat imports or on recognition of parity of safety standards in relation to pesticides – democratic oversight by the European Union Parliament or national parliaments in member states Missing. Once CETA decisions are passed, the European Union can no longer unilaterally overrule them. Even if European Union countries, for example, agree to tighten mutually recognized safety standards for pesticides through committees, this cannot apply to Canadian products without Canada’s approval. Because rules that conflict with CETA’s obligations automatically violate international law.
The draft Greens program will be discussed and finalized at the Federal Delegates ’Conference June 11-13. Party members introduced a number of amendments to CETA.
In addition to foodwatch, 47 other civil society organizations, coalitions and initiatives have signed the Open Letter, including Attac Germany, BUND, Campact, Forum Environment and Development, Greenpeace, Mehr Demokratie, Netzwerk Gerechter Welthandel, NABU and PAN Germany.
Sources 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, transmitted via news aktuell
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