The CETA lays down arrangements entitling multinationals to make claims against governments when they consider that government decisions harm their business.
In Galicia, Edgewater, a Canadian company, is seeking authorisation from the Galician Government for a gold mining exploration project that would damage farmland and woodlands. The Edgewater project would involve the use of cyanide and consequently endanger human health, aquatic fauna, and water quality.
The Galician Government announced several months ago that the gold project had been cancelled. However, according to recent press reports, Edgewater is planning to sue the Government for damages unless the cancelled project is reinstated or the company receives financial compensation.
1. Can it really be the case that, because of the CETA, the Galician people will be obliged to pay compensation to Edgewater in order to protect the soil, the environment, and their health?
2. Does the Commission not believe that the EU should endeavour to maintain water quality and, to that end, prevent any situation in which people would be punished because they wished to protect it?
3. Can it really be the case that Edgewater’s profits deserve greater public protection than the Galician people’s right to live a healthy life?