Dutch Party for the Animals leads battle against CETA treaty
Last week, numerous social organisations raised their concerns about the CETA trade agreement with Canada during a public hearing in the Dutch House of Representatives, organised on the initiative of the Party for the Animals (PftA). If the Dutch House of Representatives or Senate should vote against CETA in December, it will mean the end of the trade agreement, as it will have to be abrogated.
"Today, it has become clear that there is strong social opposition against CETA", says PftA party leader Esther Ouwehand. "Not only the environmental movement and farmers are against CETA – opponents also include trade unions, the Dutch Consumer Association, scientists, and lawyers. Political leaders can no longer ignore this crystal-clear message that society is sending them."
CETA is a so-called “wide-ranging” agreement. It will create unfair competition between Dutch farmers and Canadian farmers, who produce under much lower standards. Canada’s animal welfare requirements are considerably lower than those in Europe, and its use of agricultural toxins much more intense. Like other trade agreements, the CETA trade agreement will result in a race to the bottom in several sectors, including agriculture.
In addition, CETA will create additional legal protection for multinationals, and Canada and the EU will decide on the adaption of rules in shady consulting clubs, without any say on the party of the European Parliament or national parliaments. CETA will thereby strengthen the position of multinationals in relation to employees and other citizens. It will also make it more difficult for Europe and other Member States to pursue individual climate policies.
"In the next few weeks, we will maintain our strong opposition to CETA", says Ouwehand, who has already persuaded many political parties in the battle against CETA.