CETA crawls back to life, negotiates German court and Parliament committee

CETA appears to have negotiated public outcry, belligerent regional parliaments and fears about the precautionary principle. [Michel Piccaya/ Shutterstock]

The European Union’s trade deal with Canada (CETA) has negotiated a few more obstacles after it overcame an appeal made in Germany and the European Parliament’s environment committee. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Germany’s Constitutional Court has thrown out a number of appeals brought against CETA after activists claimed that the government had not met the Court’s October requirements before ratifying the deal.

The Karlsruhe-based court had given the deal the green light in October but it came with a number of provisos.

CETA aims to reduce not only trade and investment barriers but also claims to respect European standards on labour, health and environmental law.

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The Court’s requirements included the need for assurances on democratic accountability and that any areas not falling within the competence of the EU be fully excluded from the deal.

“With the decision published today the Second Senate of the Constitutional Court has established that the German government has implemented the requirements set by the Court before endorsing the agreements on the signing and initial implementation of CETA,” said the Court.

Meanwhile, CETA also negotiated what could have been a tricky obstacle in the form of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI).

ENVI ultimately supported the deal with a majority, as 40 MEPs voted in favour and 24 against.

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It was initially thought that CETA would be dealt another blow, following Wallonia’s much-reported stance against the agreement, but some last minute amendments assuaged existing concerns about the precautionary principle.

The Parliament is expected to decide in February whether the agreement will enter into force provisionally. After that, the national parliaments of the 28 member states will also have to give their consent.

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