[A2k] Let's dump CETA once and for all!
La Quadrature du Net
contact at laquadrature.net
Fri Feb 10 05:08:43 PST 2017
TAGS : CETA, INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS
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Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/lets-dump-ceta-once-for-all
LET'S DUMP CETA ONCE AND FOR ALL!
PARIS, 10 FEBRUARY 2017 — ON 15 FEBRUARY, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WILL
DECIDE WHETHER TO RATIFY THE _CANADA-EU TRADE AGREEMENT_ (CETA)1 
IN CHOOSING TO BACK THIS AGREEMENT, MEPS WOULD ALLOW ITS PARTIAL
IMPLEMENTATION AND WOULD OPEN THE DOOR FOR THE NEXT STEPS OF THE
LEGISLATIVE PROCESS, WHICH COULD LEAD TO ITS COMPLETE AND DEFINITIVE
IMPLEMENTATION. ON THE OTHER HAND, REJECTING IT WOULD BE A DEATH-BLOW FOR
THE AGREEMENT, JUST AS IT WAS FOR ACTA IN JULY 2012. BEYOND THE
UNACCEPTABLE PROCEDURE OF ITS ELABORATION, CETA IS A GRAVE THREAT TO OUR
LIBERTIES AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS. THEREFORE, LA QUADRATURE DU NET CALLS
UPON MEPS TO OPPOSE IT STRONGLY.
Negotiated behind closed doors by civil servants from Canada and the
European Union between 2009 and 2013, CETA came up in public debate in July
2012, when a draft version leaked  with complete sections copied
directly from ACTA, and was rightly rejected by the European Parliament.
Since then, demonstrations have taken place all through the European Union
and Canada to protest the agreement and, more generally, world-wide against
such commercial agreements, notably TAFTA, TISA or the TPP (fr) .
>From the very processes of working them out, these agreements constitute a
serious problem: rather than being discussed by elected representatives -
with the limits inherent to representative democracies - they are drafted
in secret and under the eye and influence of lobbies from powerful
multinationals. These negotiations are even less acceptable than agreements
bearing on fundamental rights, and whose purpose is to supersede national
legislation in the hierarchy of legal norms. Only once finalized are these
agreements submitted to legislatures, with no possibility to amend them,
and along with powerful pressure to adopt them, as can be seen in the
conditions of the vote of the Wallonian legislature (fr) .
What's even worse, should it be adopted by the European Parliament, almost
all of CETA would be enforced before consulting the institutions of each
Member State, a process that could last for years. Indeed, the deal's
provisions deemed to be "not mixed" -i.e., covering only commercial
matters- fall within the sole competence of the European Union; these
provisions would be enforced on Day One, without the consent of the
national and regional parliaments, even though some of them demand to be
consulted on these matters (fr) .
Entirely apart from how it has been worked out, the substance of the
agreement endangers our freedoms and fundamental rights as demonstrated by
-- among others -- the analyses of EDRI  and the FFII . In the
digital domain alone:
* CONCERNING PERSONAL DATA AND PRIVATE LIFE: once CETA covers the transfer
of personal data between the EU and Canada, it will be become impossible in
practice to limit them later in the name of current or future European
norms, for instance when there is an incursion on rights identical to what
happened to the nullification of "Safe Harbor"  by the EU Court of
When Canada is a member of the "Five Eyes"  alliance2  of which
Edward Snowden's revelations and those of other whistleblowers have
substantially shown that it engages in massive, illegal surveillance of
entire populations, this is a particularly disquieting point. * COPYRIGHT
AND PATENT LAW : if the repressive measures of the ACTA agreement have
disappeared from CETA's final version, the agreement still contains very
dangerous provisions in these fields and would impose a hardening of
Canadian law, especially for the protection of patents. But above all it
would write current law into a text superseding the current hierarchy of
norms, and would greatly limit any possibility to modify the text in the
future, for example in order to encourage access to knowledge or sharing
and remixing culture.
* PARALLEL LEGAL SYSTEM : CETA would allow multinational companies to
sue States before _ad hoc_ arbitration courts if they their interests
harmed or if they consider themselves victims of "indirect expropriation"
or "unfair and inequitable treatment". Several examples  of abusive
actions permitted by similar mechanisms in other agreements make us fear
that such a provision would prevent member States from adopting progressive
laws, for example in favour of Net Neutrality, free software, data
protection or online sharing.
Beyond the digital issues, the agreement would endanger many other sectors,
such as the environment, labour law or the protection of health. FOR ALL
THESE REASONS, LA QUADRATURE DU NET CALLS ON MEPS TO STRONGLY AND
DEFINITELY REJECT CETA DURING THE VOTE IN THE PLENARY SESSION SCHEDULED FOR
THE 15 FEBRUARY.
Just after the turbulent  election of Antonio Tajani at the head of the
European Parliament and shortly before major elections in the Netherlands,
in Germany and in France, the power balance and the positions of the
political groups of the institution are changing and make it difficult to
foresee the result of the vote. Unsurprisingly, most of the the
conservatives (EPP and ECR) and the centrists (ALDE) SEEM TO BE RESIGNED TO
CETA, whereas the Greens  (GREENS/EFA), the European United Left 
(GUE) and the nationalists (ENF)oppose it.
The key group that could tilt the balance of the vote will be the social
democrats (S&D), who are divided on the question; while the German deputies
of the groups are in favour of CETA, the French deputies openly oppose it
 - while their colleagues of the National Assembly are refining their
convictions . The website CETA Check  identifies and the promises
of votes in one place, so we can oversee the current balance of positions.
In order to enable all of us to contact the Members of the European
Parliament - simply and for free - and try to convince them to oppose CETA,
La Quadrature du Net is launching a PiPhone  campaign, and invites
everyone to act and take part within all the different mobilisations now
taking place. Right now and until the vote on the 15th, let's inform
ourselves more on the consequences of the agreement, let's share this
informations with those around us and make our voices heard in order to
make CETA be rejected!
* 1.  The free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada. The final
version of the text is available online .
* 2.  The alliance of the intelligence services of Australia, Canada,
the USA, New Zealand, and the UK
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