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Debates
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement - Conclusion of the EU-Canada CETA - EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Sorin Moisă (S&D). – Madam President, we have reached the final stage of a lengthy and difficult process of exercising democratic scrutiny over the negotiation and approval of CETA. The S&D Group has followed closely, as have many colleagues in this House, the negotiations since before what I would call its first conclusion in September 2014. We have voiced concerns, demanded changes and achieved most of those already on the occasion of what was effectively the second conclusion of the negotiations in February 2016. The most important of these was the removal of the old, toxic, ISDS from the Treaty and its replacement with a public system, the new ICS.

In the past year, we have also contributed to, and closely scrutinised and debated, what became the new CETA package submitted to the European Parliament for consent today. We welcome, as a Group, the fact that many of the citizens’ concerns have been addressed through clarifications and commitments from the Commission and the Canadian authorities, through the joint interpretative instrument and the other instruments in the package. CETA is not perfect, far from it, but it is an important step in the right direction: a more progressive trade policy where the benefits are widely spread among all citizens.

The S&D Group has tabled its own consensual resolution which clarifies what we mean by progressive trade agreements by spelling out clearly what we like about CETA, and what we do not like about CETA and expect to be further corrected in CETA where agreed, or in future trade agreements more widely: better provisions on sustainable development and a sanctions-based approach; further improvements to the ICS system and full European Parliament involvement in the designation of judges; better forms to cover the protection of public services; and improved transparency for all trade agreements in future.

The S&D Group has decided to vote in favour of CETA. This is because most of us believe CETA is good for our economy, particularly for SMEs, and it does not threaten our choices, values or laws. But it is also an act of trust and an offer of partnership towards the EU institutions, notably the Commission and the Council, with which we want to work together for a better trade policy, and towards Canada, which is a country that shares our values, our objectives and our hopes for a better future.

 
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