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CETA gets INTA Committee's approval amidst concerns of legal uncertainty

26 January 2017
by epha -- last modified 26 January 2017

The European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) approved the draft recommendations suggesting giving consent to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada.


The vote is met with strong disagreement by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), which already expressed its deep concerns regarding CETA in its publication 'The Unhealthy Side Effects of CETA'. CETA does not provide guarantees that public health will not suffer the unwanted consequences including: opening the door for businesses to challenge public health laws, limiting policy choices for Services of General Interest (social, healthcare, education, water), promoting tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food and ignoring the global health threat of antimicrobial resistance. The legal uncertainty surrounding the compatibility of the Investment Court System (ICS) and EU law is especially worrying.

"We share the legal concerns raised with regard to the incompatibility of ICS with EU law. This ambiguity may also affect European and national health laws -and the INTA Committee has failed to address these shortcomings." commented Zoltán Massay-Kosubek, Policy Coordinator for Healthy Trade, EPHA. "This is bad news for public health: obtaining a better deal for health and consumers is still a possibility, but for that the European Parliament needs to stand up for European citizens and fix the problems first." he added.

This resolution effectively gives the green light to CETA and this is the penultimate step in the ratification process. The Plenary Session of the European Parliament will have the final word on CETA later in February, most likely in the presence of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) is a change agent – Europe's leading NGO advocating for better health. We are a dynamic member-led organisation, made up of public health NGOs, patient groups, health professionals, and disease groups working together to improve health and strengthen the voice of public health in Europe. EPHA is a member of, among others, the Social Platform, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), and the Better Regulation Watchdog.

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EPHA (Aisbl) is the European Platform bringing together public health organisations representing health professionals, patients groups, health promotion and disease specific NGOs, academic groupings and other health associations.

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