Brussels, 8 December 2016
On December 8, the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) adopted the opinion tabled by MEP Georgi Pirinski, (S&D, Bulgaria), calling on the Committee on International Trade to recommend that Parliament declines to give its consent to the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada, of the one part, and the European Union and its Member States, of the other part.
Before the final vote on the opinion, EMPL rejected three amendments tabled by members from EPP and ALDE proposing that consent be granted.
The opinion supported by the majority in EMPL represents an important achievement for all those European citizens, working people, trade unions and NGOs, as well as local and regional authorities both in the EU and Canada that are campaigning for a new approach to trade agreements, providing the necessary guarantees for labour, social and environmental rights, full observance of basic democratic principles and procedures and unobstructed prerogatives for public authorities to legislate and regulate in favour of protecting public interests and promoting the public good.
The result achieved in EMPL today provides an important impetus in favour of adopting such an approach in the course of forthcoming decisions to be taken both within the European Parliament as well as in the National Parliaments of Member States regarding both CETA as well as the other comprehensive trade and economic agreements that are being negotiated.