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EU court ruling on Singapore trade deal is victory for democracy, Greenpeace

16 May 2017
by greenpeace -- last modified 16 May 2017

The European Court of Justice ruled today that the European Commission cannot conclude trade deals without the approval of EU national parliaments, when they contain investment dispute systems that supersede national courts.


Following this verdict on the EU trade deal with Singapore, Greenpeace calls on the European Commission to ensure transparency and involve national parliaments in future trade deals.

Greenpeace trade policy campaigner Kees Kodde said: "This verdict is a victory for democracy. It forces the debate about the benefits and dangers of trade agreements out into the open. Without more transparency and accountability, the current trade system will continue harming people's rights and our environment. Putting people and nature first could instead unlock trade as force for good – not an end in itself, but a means to achieve social and environmental progress."

The ECJ said that EU trade agreements cannot remove investors' disputes from the jurisdiction of the courts of the member states, without the member states' consent. It confirms that the jurisdiction of national courts must be respected and that the Commission cannot negotiate a parallel court system for investors without the approval of national parliaments.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.

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