Call for scrutiny to protect democracy and citizens in new blueprints for world trade

The Assembly today reminded member States to pay very close attention to safeguarding environmental, democratic, and human rights imperatives in Europe, when drafting the 'new generation trade agreements'.

According to an adopted resolution, the latest Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union (EU) and Canada, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the United States of America have “raised multiple concerns especially in Europe”.

The resolution, based on a report by Geraint Davies (United Kingdom, SOC), calls for more transparent negotiations of such agreements, with public and parliamentary scrutiny. In order to protect the interests of European citizens and promote sustainability, it stresses that the “agreements should not empower corporate trade interests to trump public policies protecting the environment, food safety, public health and social rights”.

The parliamentarians recommended in particular that the provisions on the proposed Investment Court System, which would allow investors to sue governments in arbitration for profits they might not make due to laws passed to protect the citizen” be in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights”.