Letter to Prime Minister Harper and German President Barroso on CETA

Dear Prime Minister Harper,
Dear President Barroso,

With this letter we would like to express our serious concern over provisions in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that could undermine the environment, worker’s rights, public services and consumer standards, and the democratic fabric upon which our countries are based.


Within the CETA, extra-judicial investor rights through ISDS would provide multinational corporations the right to sue governments if laws or regulations are introduced that cause them loss of profits. This would take place through international arbitration channels that bypass public courts. We believe that this form of private justice undermines the rule of law and democratic decision-making and thereby call on the Canadian government and the European Commission to ensure that ISDS is not included in the CETA.

The CETA negotiations are also the first among EU trade agreements in which an approach is being taken that would as a rule allow liberalisation for every sector bar a few (“negative list approach”). We have serious reservations regarding this and urge the Canadian government and European Commission to instead take the opposite approach (“positive list approach”) by defining specific sectors open to liberalisation and keeping the rest off the table.

Broad participation and transparent decisions are core values of our democratic systems. The CETA is being negotiated without opportunity for meaningful public input. We strongly urge you to provide public access to documents of ongoing negotiations and to consider the introduction of mechanisms for public participation in order to ensure broad and fair participation on these vital topics.

We thank you for your consideration and are available for further discussions and information.


Reinhard Bütikofer, MEP
Co-Chair of the European Green Party

Elizabeth May, M.P.
Leader of the Green Party of Canada


Monica Frassoni
Co-Chair of the European Green Party


Bruce Hyer, M.P.
Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada