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01 Mar 2016


Euro & Finance
Global Europe

Today the European Commission and the Canadian Government announced that they finalised the legal revision of the EU-Canada free trade agreement (CETA). In the process, they reached a deal that includes new provisions on investment dispute resolution, replacing the controversial Investor-State Dispute System (ISDS) based on private arbitration, with an independent investment court system. The new approach bears resemblance to both national legal systems of mature democracies and the International Court of Justice.

Romanian MEP Sorin Moisa (S&D), who is the Shadow Rapporteur for CETA in the International Trade Committee (INTA) of the European Parliament, and therefore responsible for CETA in his Group, declared:

"I take pride in having contributed to this achievement, on behalf of the S&D Group, by working closely with our EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, and her Canadian counterpart, Chrystia Freeland, to remove the last thorn in the side of CETA by genuinely heeding civil society concerns and doing away with ISDS. A permanent Tribunal with public judges and randomised allocation of members for each case, a permanent Appellate Tribunal, strict rules on conflict of interest, a code of conduct enforceable by the President of the International Court of Justice, an article in the treaty on preserving the right to regulate: this is no tinkering about the edges, this is a complete paradigm change. We can now focus on the merits of CETA in its entirety, and on the future of EU-Canada relations. I will spend the coming months making the case that CETA deserves the vital blessing of the European Parliament"

Commending the work of the main players in Europe and Canada who made this moment possible, he added: ''Cecilia Malmström was very receptive to civil society concerns and proposed in September 2015 to replace the old ISDS with a new Investment Court System (ICS), boosting fairness and transparency. CETA, while already concluded in September 2015, could not avoid this political and moral reality. The Trudeau Government has added its own great contribution to the new system as enshrined in CETA, living up to its progressive values, which Chrystia Freeland has championed. The two sides have together created a defining moment in investment dispute settlement, whose future trajectory has changed today.''

With regard to future debate on CETA in the European Parliament, Moisa concluded that while this was ''a victory for the S&D, for progress and decency, it is not a victory against anyone. The deal improves CETA while leaving its overall structure and balance intact and my colleagues from the EPP, ALDE and ECR as well as other MEPs now have even more reason to accept the treaty as good for Europe.''

A piece written by MEP Moisa on this issue in November 2015 can be found at the following link: