Request for EP plenary debate on CETA rejected

22.11.2016

The European Parliament plenary rejected, on 21 November, with 184 to 170 votes and 9 abstentions, a joint request by the Greens and GUE for a plenary debate on the motion for resolution to refer CETA to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Addressing the plenary on behalf of GUE, Anne-Marie Mineur from the Netherlands argued that a thorough discussion on the most controversial aspects of CETA, including the Investment Court System (ICS), is necessary before the vote on the motion for resolution put forward by 89 MEPs from six political groups (see article). She pointed out that a complex agreement such as CETA requires close EP scrutiny, which has been prevented by the pro-CETA groups in the EP. GUE, the Greens, EFDD and some members of S&D have been irked by a decision taken by the political groups’ coordinators on trade not to table a joint draft resolution on CETA by the Committee for International Trade (INTA), to which other EP committees could submit their opinions. Instead all political groups will have the right to table their own resolutions and seek a majority for them at the EP plenary.

Arguing against, Daniel Caspary (EPP, Germany) accused the Greens and GUE of putting their political agenda before the interests of European business and consumers. “The people are concerned about how our businesses and our jobs will survive the competition from Brazil and India. Trade agreements are the answer to these fears,” Caspary said. He also pointed out that the European Parliament’s Legal Service found the ICS included in CETA compatible with the Treaties. “This debate is not about giving answers, but about destroying CETA. It is about destroying trust in the independent, high-quality and reliable work of the EP in-house legal service,” he added. Concluding, Caspary called on GUE and other anti-CETA groups in the European Parliament to stop undermining the EU’s and the European Parliament’s credibility. “We reject your motion and instead promote CETA in order to shape globalisation and to give citizens positive answers and a secure future,” he said.

The vote on the request for an ECJ opinion is scheduled for the plenary on 23 November. A simple majority is needed for the draft resolution to be approved.

Quelle: EU Trade Insights

 

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