The parliament in Nicosia votes against the adoption of the European-Canadian economic pact. MEPs don’t see Agra products protected enough.
The Cypriot parliament in Nicosia rejected ratification of the European-Canadian trade agreement on Friday. Because the MPs do not see the Halloumi cheese and other agricultural products that are produced on the island adequately protected, they voted against the economic pact with a majority of 37 to 18 votes, reports the Cypriot media. The Ceta critics from the ranks of the socialists, the left party Akel and the Greens complained that the agreement strengthened multinational companies and harmed the environment. The government now wants to start renegotiations.
The aim of the economic pact is to abolish almost all customs duties between the EU and Canada and to simplify trade. There were large protests in Germany and many other European countries against Ceta and the now failed sister pact TTIP with the US. Critics fear that consumer standards will be lowered and the influence of industry will increase, as companies are given an extensive say in the approximation of standards. Above all, the possibility of lawsuits brought by companies against unpleasant political decisions is causing displeasure.
Large parts have been provisionally in force since 2017. To be fully valid, Ceta must be ratified by all EU countries. As in many other EU countries, this has not yet happened in Germany. “In Germany, we will present the contract law to parliament as soon as a pending decision by the German Federal Constitutional Court has been made,” said a spokesman for the German Federal Ministry of Economics. He did not want to comment on the decision in Nicosia.
The Greens in the European Parliament welcomes the result of the vote. “The rejection of Ceta by the Cypriot parliament shows how highly controversial the agreement is,” said Green MEP Anna Cavazzini. In view of the climate crisis, a change of course in EU trade policy towards high environmental and social standards and away from one-sided lawsuits for corporations is urgently needed.