The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the treaty being negotiated between the EU and the US, has been the focus of public debate in recent months. However, Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the trade agreement between the EU and Canada is nearing process of approval by the Council and the European Parliament. Following the same logic as TTIP, CETA aims at much more than fully opening the European market for Canadian goods and services and vice versa. CETA with its 42 chapters, about 1500 pages full of technical complexities, cannot longer be overlooked.
Proponents argue that these free trade agreements are a tool for gaining more prosperity by increasing GDP and creation of jobs through removing customs duties, putting an end to limited access to public contracts and stimulating investment by offering predictable conditions for investors. On the other side, critics underline the restriction of public authorities to regulate through regulatory cooperation, the privatization of justice by investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), rebranded as “Investment Court System” (ICS), and environmental consequences in a challenging context of global warming.
Democracy, common interest and fair trade are threatened in the interest of multinational corporations: our model of society is put into question. What do we really know about these agreements negotiated in secret? Which consequences could they have on citizens’ life and on our environment?
It is high time to increase awareness: this debate will be focusing on two questions: What are the challenges for new generation of free trade agreements? And what’s in CETA?
The following issues will be addressed:
18.30: Welcome of participants and speakers
18.45 - 19.00: Presentation of the Progressive Caucus
19.00 - 19.50: New generation of free trade agreements: what are the challenges for the future?
Exchange of views
19.50 - 20.40 What’s in CETA?
Exchange of views
20.40 - 21.00 - Conclusion