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Parliamentary questions
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24 August 2017
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-004793/2017

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been concluded as a mixed agreement and therefore it can only enter fully into force once each individual EU member state has approved it in line with their national procedures. EU governments in the European Council have adopted a decision on 28 October 2016 to provisionally apply most elements of the agreement. In this respect, should a Member State formally notify to the Council its failure to ratify CETA, the EU institutions have to act upon the notification of the Member State. However, it should be stressed that a decision of the EU institutions can only be reversed by the same EU institutions.

The Commission wishes to reassure Italian citizens that CETA will not lower any of the EU’s standards protecting European consumers. The EU standards for products and services will remain in place as they are and there is no provision in CETA which will amend, reduce or eliminate any EU standards. This means that all imports from Canada have to satisfy the EU rules and regulations; be it technical rules and standards, sanitary or phytosanitary rules, rules on food safety, rules on genetically modified organisms or rules on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) of pesticides or veterinary medicines.

Canada has also granted 143 European Geographical Indications (GIs) — of which 41 are Italian — a very high level of protection in Canada, in most cases similar to what they enjoy in Europe. These GIs are among the most traded EU and Italian GIs and have been selected on the basis of priorities requested by Member States. Furthermore, no Canadian product imitating an Italian GI will be allowed to enter in the European Union.

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