CETA: Ripe For Provisional Implementation In January 2018? 10/07/2016 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The European Commission on 8 July published the finalized Comprehensive Economic Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) and formally proposed to Council to sign the agreement, pushing for provisional implementation amidst ongoing discussions over competency issues with EU member states. After finalising CETA in August 2014, the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system was renegotiated last year. The Commission press release is available here. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem in a press conference after the Commission announcement described CETA “the most ambitious trade agreement that the EU has ever concluded” as it would “scrap almost all custom duties.” For the first time, Canada also opened up government procurement, she added. Malmstroem underlined the Commission continues to consider CETA an EU-only agreement, with no need for member state parliaments’ approval. She thereby reiterated a statement made by EU President Jean Claude Juncker two weeks ago. In an effort to appease several member states who openly declared their opposition to excluding national parliaments, Malmstroem now said CETA will be proposed as a so-called “mixed agreement” instead. At the same time the trade commissioner warned that the push for shared competencies over trade agreements involves the “risk that member states infect this debate by confusing the content of the agreements with a malaise of anti-EU and anti-globalism feelings.” Malmstroem called on member state governments to defend the trade agreements before their parliaments and “show leadership” instead. The competency dispute is already on the table of the European Court of Justice which will decide on mixed or not for the EU-Singapore agreement. The concession on CETA would allow swift implementation. The Commission has proposed that the Council approves a “provisional implementation.” With individual member states’ approval procedures potentially taking up to several years, this would pave the way for implementation of trade provisions in January 2018, according to Commission sources. Approval of the European Parliament to provisional implementation is not obligatory, but has been promised by Malmstroem. The Canadian government has to agree to a provisional implementation. The trouble over the ratification process meanwhile extends to the national level. In a parliamentary debate on CETA at the German Bundestag in Berlin government and opposition clashed over the question if both houses of the legislator will be involved or not. Everywhere there seems to be concern that broadening the debate might make the agreement trip up, creating a bad precedence for the other ongoing trade negotiations. To avoid another possible stumbling stone, both Canada and the EU according to media reports have expressed they will not reopen CETA again for the Brexit results. Canada also would have to agree to a provisional implementation if the EU decides for it. Image Credits: European Commission Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."CETA: Ripe For Provisional Implementation In January 2018?" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.