German Economic News: What is your estimate your chances of a being able to prevent CETA
Jörg Haas: we are optimistic that we can still prevent politically CETA – and failing that, that the Federal Constitutional court against CETA at the end decide. However, there is no silver bullet, so it is important pursue different political and legal ways
German Economic News:. CETA has already negotiated. According to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the agreement could start as early as next year. If you have enough time
Jörg Haas for your project: for the litigation is expected
until further notice from the following chronological order: In the fall, the more precisely – Commission of the European Union the
Council: the Council of the EU trade Ministers – submit the treaty text to the decision on the signature and provisional application. This decision is in practice so far approved by the European Parliament. This is followed by the ratification phase will be followed, in Canada, but also all the Member States of the European Union must give their consent to the contract.
In Germany this is done in the form of a law approving the
Bundestag with the consent of Bundesrat. Once the
ratification phase, the Commission will submit the agreement to adoption of the final contract the Council of Ministers. This procedure is mostly held as probable, but it remains speculative in essential respects. It is unclear to this day whether the approval of all EU member states is required (so-called mixed agreement) or whether the Union the Treaty may enter alone (exclusive EU agreement) and is also unclear whether the Council of the European Union unanimously or with
must coordinate majority German Economic News:. Why start the action only now
Jörg Haas: complaint subject can only be an act of German public state authority. This is the Act Approving the German Bundestag to CETA. Fashion: If a Supplementary Act to CETA is adopted, it is not yet clear, even this
German Economic news will be a-compatible complaint subject. Mrs. Grimmenstein-Balas together, which recently organized a class action against CETA
Jörg Haas: mid April 2016 initiated the complaint, the teacher Marianne Grimmenstein. It was “a precautionary measure for protection signature” filed with the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC), as represented by Prof. Dr. Andreas Fisahn was quoted in the media. However, the Constitutional Procedural Law does not provide “protective letters” before. This was not the first attempt of a constitutional complaint. Already in August 2014 Marianne Grimm stone had lodged a complaint against CETA at the Constitutional Court, which was not accepted for the decision
We believe that the time for a constitutional complaint plays an important role. For the German state power must have first taken action before you can criticize this. That has not yet happened in the case of CETA. We therefore want to wait for the approval of the German representative on the European Council to be signed by CETA before we submit our mass constitutional complaint – collecting the powers can and should of course already done before
German Economic News. : Can I participate in several constitutional complaints
Jörg Haas: Unfortunately it is not possible, the same problem of supporting multiple constitutional complaints , Whoever already participates in the constitutional complaint by Mrs Grimmenstein against CETA, for example, the mass appeal “No to CETA” can not sign. If anyone still supports both methods, the time subsequent appeal of this person is not accepted. In principle, however, it is possible at any time withdraw support for complaints
D eutsche Economic News:. If planned such initiatives in other EU countries ?
Jörg Haas: The resistance to TTIP and CETA is very much alive in many other EU countries. However, I no constitutional challenge has been known
German Economic News:. How do Canadians the Agreement
? Jörg Haas: There are also in Canada a considerable resistance against FTAs. However, the debate focused on the TPP Agreement in the Pacific. But against CETA there is significant opposition. So the Canadian Labour Congress has expressed together with the DGB against CETA
German Economic News:.? What are your main criticisms of CETA
Jörg Haas: in the CETA agreement it is – unlike in previous FTA – only marginally to the reduction of tariffs or the approximation of technical standards such as screw lengths and indicators colors. At the core of the agreement are sociopolitical standards that affect many aspects of our daily life. Environmental and climate protection or consumer and workers’ rights are considered in CETA especially as trade barriers that create costs for business.
The provided in the contract harmonization of standards and cooperation in government regulation there is a risk that necessary improvements in our standards in future only be difficult, if not longer be possible.
in addition, officially enshrined by the planned “regulatory cooperation” that lobbyists can influence legislation before the parliaments. Because for the interpretation and implementation of CETA is to be responsible a so-called “Joint Committee” with yet unknown composition. This panel of experts can CETA evolve as “living agreement” after graduating still critical and change – even though the panel would be neither democratic legitimacy would still controlled by the parliaments. This democratic rights of citizens to be undermined.
Furthermore enshrined extensive special rights of action for foreign companies in CETA with the so-called investment Court (ICS). Investors would thus makes it possible to sue governments when required as the company economic gains are diminished, for example due to stricter laws within the meaning of the consumer or environmental protection.
The initially planned private arbitration tribunals (ISDS) were through a new so-called investment Court system (investment Court system, ICS) replaced. The gist of the criticism, however, remains unchanged: whether arbitration or court investment – the system of investor-state dispute settlement is a parallel justice system, which can be called only by foreign investors, but not from local farms. States would be possibly sued for laws that have been enacted in the public interest. And before the planned investment dishes can investors get right, even if ordinary courts decide up to the Federal Constitutional Court otherwise. To be
By the risk of investors suing for damages in the billions, governments are blackmailed. Planned regulations, for example, for consumer and environmental protection and to strengthen workers’ rights can be prevented or delayed in this manner. The German Association of Judges criticized also that the financial and operational independence of judges / inside is not preserved. Furthermore also the renewed investment court system is one-way: The companies have rights but no duties. If investors, for example, violate fundamental human rights, they can not be sued on international routes for
German Economic News:. Do you fear a weakening of environmental standards ?
Jörg Haas: Serious consequences would the agreement, for example for climate protection. Energy companies would get through CETA, the ability to enforce on investor-state lawsuits environmentally harmful projects, although citizen / inside massive protest – and on both sides of the Atlantic. For example, has announced, citing the NAFTA free trade agreement between Canada, USA and Mexico filed a lawsuit in the billions, because the US government has not approved a highly controversial oil pipeline TransCanada Group. The same is possible by CETA in Europe
In order to clear the way for CETA free, the EU has already given in to pressure from Canada and climate protection standards lowered. Also, especially environmental and climate-damaging oil from Canadian tar sands may in the EU is imported.
In the consumer and health protection, there is a risk that much needed improvements of European and national standards makes it difficult or even completely prevented. For future regulations must always be “CETA Compliant”. For example it is a realistic assumption that the EU and Canada recognize standards in the labeling of nutritional values mutually. This would then become difficult or even impossible to introduce nutritional labeling in traffic light colors – although the majority of people want a traffic light labeling in Germany. Also in the cultural sector, data protection and workers’ rights is to be feared that existing standards are frozen. Another improvement would be the entry into force of CETA no longer possible
German Economic News:. If you actually with the action be successful, the full consequences of No of German Federal Constitutional Court in the EU
Jörg Haas: An eventual agreement of Germany to CETA would legally void, ie the ratification of Germany would be reversed, Germany would at CETA not bound.
Jörg Haas is spokesman for the civil rights movement Campact. From 1997 to 2008 he worked as a climate and energy expert for the Heinrich Böll Foundation.