The European Commission formally proposed to the Council of the EU the signature and conclusion of a free trade agreement between the EU and Canada, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA.
The deal is set to benefit people and businesses – big and small – across Europe as of the first day of its implementation. To allow for a swift signature and provisional application, so that the expected benefits are reaped without unnecessary delay, the Commission has decided to propose CETA as 'mixed' agreement. This is without prejudice to its legal view, as expressed in a case currently being examined by the European Court of Justice concerning the trade deal reached between the EU and Singapore. With this step, the Commission makes its contribution for the deal to be signed during the next EU-Canada Summit, in October.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: "The agreement reached with Canada is a milestone in European trade policy. It is the most ambitious trade agreement that the EU has ever concluded and will deepen our longstanding relations with Canada. It will help to generate much-needed growth and jobs while fully upholding Europe's high standards in areas like food safety, environmental protection and people's rights at work. This is what our trade policy is all about."
CETA also contains strong rules on the protection of labour rights and the environment. Both sides have pledged never to undermine the EU's high standards for the sake of commercial interests, but instead to work together to encourage others around the world - particularly developing countries - to raise their own.
Over 140 European Geographical Indications of food and drink products (from Tiroler Speck, from Austria, to Gouda and Roquefort cheeses from the Netherlands and France) will enjoy a high level of protection in the Canadian market, whereas without the agreement there is no such protection. CETA will make sure that only genuine products can be sold in Canada under those names.
Following a decision by the Council, it will be possible to provisionally apply CETA. Its full entering into force will be subject to the conclusion by the EU, through a Council decision with the consent of the European Parliament, and by all Member States through the relevant national ratification procedures.
Tuesday July 5, 2016/ EC/ European Union.