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Naturefriends say “no” to CETA

At the Annual Conference of Naturefriends International (NFI) on 23th September 2016 in Bielefeld (Germany), the national Naturefriends associations adopted a common resolution on CETA, the free-trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.

Naturefriends demand that the members of regional and national parliaments of the EU member states reject the planned free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada. Naturefriends also demand that the EU member states oppose a provisional application of CETA in the EU Council.

“In the planned free-trade agreement, the objectives of international agreements such as the United Nations' Agenda 2030 or the Paris climate treaty are subordinated to the interests of large corporations,” says Manfred Pils, President of Naturefriends International. “Instead of the sustainable development of our society, it's short-term commercial considerations that are at the heart of the agreement. But global trade will not promote prosperity if environmental and social standards are sacrificed.”
Hans-Gerd Marian, Federal Executive Director of Naturefriends Germany, adds, “Over the last two years, the civil-society movement against TTIP and CETA has become increasingly institutionalised. Naturefriends advocate for the rejection of the provisional application by as many governments as possible in the EU Council.”

Policies have to shape sustainable globalisation
The discussions concerning the free-trade agreements are a matter of setting the course for the future: will policies continue to serve power politics and thus benefit transnational commercial interests, or will they be committed to sustainability and shape social and ecological globalisation?

No parallel justice
Canada and the EU member states are states under the rule of law. Discrimination against foreign investors is not known in any of those countries; the same conditions apply for the business operations of domestic and foreign companies. 
Therefore, there is not justification to introduce a parallel justice which was initially created to enable investment protection agreements with countries that have severe rule-of-law deficits.

Don't sacrifice public interest to expected return
CETA follows a market logic, subordinating public services to commercial interests that are not in the interest of the citizens. There is no rational reason why public services should be compulsorily opened to meet return expectations of private Canadian providers – vice versa, the same is true for Canada. The focus needs to be on public interest instead of the interests of profit of a few.

Cornelia Kühhas
Naturefriends International, public relations 
Tel.: +43 (0)1 89 23 877-41