CETA-Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and EU and its Member States-2016

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada, of the one part, and the European Union and its Member States, of the other part

Brussels, 14 September 2016

Not all parts of CETA fall within the competence of the EU for common trade policy.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a free trade agreement between the EU and Canada.

“FURTHER strengthen their close economic relationship and build upon their respective rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, done on 15 April 1994, and other multilateral and bilateral instruments of cooperation;

CREATE an expanded and secure market for their goods and services through the reduction or elimination of barriers to trade and investment;

ESTABLISH clear, transparent, predictable and mutually-advantageous rules to govern their trade and investment;”

On 15 February 2017 (in German), the European Parliament approved CETA 


European Parliament approves CETA

Federal Minister of Economics Zypries: “Today’s (02/15/2017) approval of the European Parliament for CETA is a milestone in Canadian-European economic relations. CETA is the most progressive trade agreement we have ever had. It not only improves our economic cooperation, but also establishes our values ​​at the same time CETA reaffirms our social and ecological standards and protects European and Canadian peculiarities and achievements. CETA also has an effect beyond our relations with Canada: We are showing all our partners that we Europeans stand together and are resolute in advocating fair and open trade relations. “

After approval by the European Parliament, the next step is mutual notification. The provisional application only applies to matters falling within the competence of the EU. The most important exception applies to the new regulations on investment protection .

In addition, the respective national ratification procedures are now starting in the EU member states. In Germany, a decision is still pending in the main proceedings before the Federal Constitutional Court. The applications in two urgent proceedings against CETA had been rejected by the Federal Constitutional Court.

Federal Minister Gabriel approved the signing of CETA by the Federal Republic of Germany.

Federal Minister Gabriel said: “Following the approval given by the Bundestag, the whole of the Federal Government has declared itself in favour of the conclusion of the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada. CETA is a sound and modern agreement. It provides us with a major opportunity to lay down fair and sound rules for ever deepening globalisation, and to actively shape this. The European Commission yesterday presented the declaration with legal status between the EU and Canada at the meeting of the Trade Ministers’ Council in Luxembourg. The declaration sets out the will of the contracting parties on important areas of the agreement, such as investment protection, public services, and workers’ rights. The precautionary principle is also stressed. I am delighted that Germany has been able to deliver good preparatory work for the European-Canadian declaration based on the German-Canadian Joint Declaration on CETA, which I co-signed with Canadian Trade Minister Ms Chrystia Freeland on 18 September 2016. The requirements deriving from the ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court of 13 October 2016 were also implemented by consensus in yesterday’s Council.”

In addition to this, a supplementary protocol has also been submitted concerning the cessation of provisional application of CETA, and agreement was also reached on all the other outstanding points. Formal decisions will now be recorded in a written circulation procedure, after which the Member States will each sign the agreement, before it is ceremonially signed by the European Union and Canada on 27 October 2016.

Federal Minister Gabriel said: “The Federal Constitutional Court has cleared the way for CETA. I greatly welcome this. CETA is a modern free trade agreement that we can use to shape globalisation and establish high environmental, consumer and labour standards. The different arguments were examined closely during the course of oral negotiations and a hearing of the complainants. We fully agree with the requirements laid down by the court and will act to meet these.”

The oral negotiations at the Federal Constitutional Court focused especially on the scope of the powers to be given to the committees envisaged under CETA, and on how the provisional application of the agreement could be terminated were its ratification in Germany ultimately to fail.

The Federal Constitutional Court thus decided

  • that a Council decision on the provisional application of CETA will only cover those parts of the agreement which fall under the competence of the European Union (EU only),
  • that until the Federal Constitutional Court rules on the merits of the case, the Member States have to be given sufficient influence on the decisions taken in the CETA committees,
  • that the Federal Government will declare that it can terminate the provisional application of CETA in the event that ratification of the agreement in Germany fails.


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