Photo: Jamie Street via Unsplash

In 2009, negotiations began between the EU and Canada on a “deep and comprehensive” trade agreement that should settle mutual trade barriers. Eleven years later, the result is presented to the Dutch Parliament. The world has changed a lot in those eleven years. It became undeniably clear that wealth is increasingly concentrated with fewer and fewer people and companies. There was a growing realization that the increasing influence of large companies and financial institutions comes with many disadvantages and risks. Preventing climate change became even more urgent.

The time has caught up with CETA. What started as negotiations for a “modern” trade agreement, ended in a treaty that strengthens an old, unequal and unsustainable economy and offers no solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time.

Twenty two Dutch civil society organisations and trade unions call on the Dutch Parliament not to agree with CETA in its current form. They can sent CETA back to the drawing board. In other treaties, Canada refrained from investment protection and firm and enforceable sustainability agreements were made. That is also possible in CETA. But for that to happen, EU member states have to move.

The House of Representatives will debate CETA on Wednesday 12 February.

NB. The statement is in Dutch.