CETA: Social and environmental standards at stake in EU-Canada trade agreement

Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today welcomed negotiation of an EU trade agreement with Canada. But they warned the Commission against opening the EU market to GMOs or giving up key demands such as legally-binding social and environmental standards. S&D Euro MP Vital Moreira, author of a parliamentary resolution on the issue, said: "Increasing opportunities in terms of market access is essential, but the Commission must be equally ambitious when it comes to sustainable development by supporting initiatives to help tackle climate change, promote legally binding human rights and social and environmental standards, as well as corporate social responsibility."

 

http://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/gpes/public/detail.htm?id=135805&se...

 
  Social and environmental standards at stake in EU-Canada trade agreement
  Wednesday 08/06/2011   Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today welcomed negotiation of an EU trade agreement with Canada. But they warned the Commission against opening the EU market to GMOs or giving up key demands such as legally-binding social and environmental standards.   S&D Euro MP Vital Moreira, author of a parliamentary resolution on the issue, said: "The EU-Canada economic relationship has not yet reached its full potential. Studies show that there are significant potential gains for both Canada and the EU from opening trade.   "Increasing opportunities in terms of market access is essential, but the Commission must be equally ambitious when it comes to sustainable development by supporting initiatives to help tackle climate change, promote legally binding human rights and social and environmental standards, as well as corporate social responsibility."   S&D trade spokesperson Kader Arif said: "We are concerned about the mining of asbestos in Canada, which damages workers' health. The EU has banned all use, extraction and processing of asbestos and manufacture of its products. Canada should do the same. The extraction of tar sands, which have a very negative impact on the environment, should be submitted to stricter environmental rules.   "Agriculture requires particular attention. We must stand firm when it comes to GMOs, milk and origin-labelling, and maintain high standards in the negotiations on health and plant health measures.   "Public services, which are a key priority for our group, should also remain out of the scope of trade liberalisation".    The European Parliament today supported the claim pushed by S&D Euro MP David Martin to ask Canada to withdraw the case they launched at the World Trade Organisation on the EU's ban on seal products.   Said Mr Martin: "This is a great day for animal welfare and European democracy. The European Parliament has stepped up to the mark, toe to toe with the Canadian government and the European Commission.    "We did not blink but stood firm for the democratically expressed will of European citizens that we should not import cruelty in the form of cruelly-produced seal products. We want no more blood on the ice – or on our consciences.   "The European Parliament was given new powers by the Lisbon Treaty. It has shown it is prepared to use them in the name of humanity and democracy."   Victoria Martín de la Torre victoria.martindelatorre@europarl.europa.eu

   

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