Press Release: Environmental groups concerned that EU Parliament will not be allowed to scrutinise the CETA trade deal with Canada

Today a resolution to seek an opinion from the European Court of Justice on the compatibility of CETA with EU Treaties [1] was rejected by the European Parliament.
The push to fast-track the controversial CETA trade deal continues with both the EU Trade Committee and the Conference of the Presidents over the last weeks indicating they were not prepared to allow time for debate and scrutiny within other committees before a vote on the agreement in the Parliament indicatively scheduled for the 14th of December. [2]
The resolution was co-signed by three Irish MEPs: Marian Harkin and Matt Carthy; and Martina Anderson from Northern Ireland, and 86 other MEPs.
The resolution today was intended to clarify whether the sections on investment protection and the resolution of investment disputes between investors and states are in line with several EU Treaties. however the European Parliament thus decided to ignore the opinion of many legal experts who have raised the issue [3].

Attracta Uí Bhroin of the Environmental Pillar said:
“This decision today and an earlier vote on Monday not to even allow debate on the resolution is deeply disturbing.
“The role of the European Parliament is being reduced to a blindfolded rubber stamping of CETA.
“The concern now is not only about the negative impacts of the agreement on areas such as employment, agriculture, effective climate action, progressive regulation and policy etc – but also on how the process is undermining, perhaps irrevocably, the credibility of the EU institutions and particularly the Parliament.
“We need to URGENTLY demand scrutiny and debate from our MEPs on this issue – regardless of their position on the CETA
Rushing such an important decision through, without discussion or even checking if it it is in line with EU treaties is shortsighted and undemocratic”
CETA is the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – A free-trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. Similar to TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) which is a free-trade agreement between the European Union and the United States,
[3] On November the 9th 2015, the European Association of Judges issued a statement expressing their strong reservations on the new Investment Court System included in the TTIP text – now also included in CETA:
Recently, more than 100 European law professors questioned whether the Investment Court System included in CETA is in line with European law: