Press Release

MEPs run from their responsibility to test Canada-EU trade deal at European court

November 23, 2016

The refusal by MEPs to refer the controversial Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to the European Court of Justice in a vote today is an abdication of their responsibility, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The European Parliament has the power to request an opinion by the Luxembourg court on the compatibility of trade agreements with the EU treaties. But the resolution to refer the Canada-Europe trade deal, over concerns about the creation of a new ‘Investment Court System’, was defeated by 419 votes to 258.

Cecile Toubeau, director of better trade and regulation at T&E, said: “A majority of MEPs have run from their responsibility just when the European Parliament needed to take its new powers on trade issues seriously, leaving it all up to national and regional parliaments like Wallonia. They have squandered this unique opportunity to involve the EU’s highest court now and avoid a legal stand-off further down the road once the so-called Investment Court System is up and running.”

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