Friday, March 12, 2021
Agreement between the European Union and Canada
Experts: CETA Threatens Consumer Protection
The CETA trade agreement between the European Union and Canada has not yet fully entered into – but experts are already warning: Control of the rules is not transparent, and there is a lack of democratic oversight by parliaments. They see health and consumer protection in the European Union at risk.
According to Foodwatch’s legal opinion, CETA shows serious democratic flaws. The Consumer Protection Organization said this could have negative consequences for health and consumer protection in Europe. The report by Wolfgang Weiss, a public law professor at Speyer, criticizes the lack of democratic oversight and transparency in the committees.
It is said that they have the power to alter parts of CETA. “A new and extremely high level of exercise of sovereign powers by the executive will be reached”. The so-called mixed CETA committee is responsible, among other things, for implementing the agreement; There are also special thematic committees. Weiß writes that the European Parliament cannot have an opinion on this. Otherwise, there are no mechanisms for parliamentary or public accountability.
Consumer advocates: The Bundestag must stop CETA
Foodwatch director Thilo Bode criticized: “CETA committees in secret make decisions that affect millions of European Union citizens – but the European Parliament or the Bundestag are excluded.” The Bundestag demanded that the agreement be stopped.
CETA organizes the abolition of nearly all tariffs between the European Union and Canada and the removal of other trade barriers. In October 2016, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe temporarily permitted German participation under certain conditions. Among other things, the federal government had to make sure that Germany could leave again. Parts of the agreement came into effect temporarily in September 2017.
CETA can only come into full effect after all European Union countries ratify the agreement. Germany awaits Karlsruhe decisions – There are complaints about the agreement in the Federal Constitutional Court, including one from Foodwatch, which was filed by Consumer Protection Organization with Campact and Mehr Demokratie.