Canada and the European Union signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on Sunday amid widespread protests against the controversial deal that came back to life after negotiations stalled over objections from Wallonia, Belgium.
Environmental and democracy groups who opposed the agreement issued cautious statements condemning the signing but noting that CETA was not a done deal.
“This agreement will probably not survive the democratic and legal scrutiny of the ratification process over the coming months. It’s time for our governments to break rank with corporate lobbyists and redesign a trade policy that respects democracy and promotes the public interest,” said Shira Stanton, trade policy adviser at Greenpeace EU.
CETA now faces a vote in the European Parliament and ratification by the parliaments of the EU’s 28 countries.
If it passes, CETA would create a legal system that allows corporations to sue governments for perceived loss of profit. That framework will also be put to scrutiny by the European Court of Justice and the German constitutional court, and if it fails to stand up would invalidate CETA.