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Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA):German Federal Constitutional Court dismisses lawsuits against CETA

Bundesverfassungsgericht

Zwei Bücher mit der Aufschrift “CETA” und “Grundgesetz” liegen am 13.10.2016 in Karlsruhe (Baden-Württemberg) vor Verhandlungsbeginn im Verhandlungssaal des Gerichts. Das Bundesverfassungsgericht wies mehrere Eilanträge gegen eine Zustimmung Deutschlands zum Freihandelsabkommen Ceta zwischen der EU und Kanada ab, formulierte aber Bedingungen. Foto: Uwe Anspach/dpa (zu dpa “Karlsruhe gibt grünes Licht für Ceta unter Bedingungen” vom 13.10.2016) ++, © dpa

01.04.2022 - Article

Germany can continue to participate in the controversial European-Canadian trade agreement CETA - at least in the current limited form. The Federal Constitutional Court dismissed all five complaints by the CETA critics.

The decision on the provisional application of the October 2016 Agreement is constitutionally not objectionable.

The plaintiffs fear that the trade agreement between the EU and Canada will sacrifice environmental and consumer protection for economic interests. The planned establishment of special arbitral tribunals has also been heavily criticized. These are intended to resolve trade disputes. Critics fear that this could result in an uncontrollable parallel justice system.

The particularly controversial points in CETA - such as those relating to the arbitral tribunals - have not yet been implemented. Such courts may only be set up if all member states have agreed to this. Germany and other EU countries have not yet ratified the agreement. This is one of the reasons why the Federal Constitutional Court dismissed the lawsuits.

Interestingly, however, the judges made it clear in their decision that they are very critical about several parts of CETA. This affects, among other things, the planned arbitral tribunals.

Two of the constitutional complaints filed in 2016 were supported by a total of almost 200,000 citizens. CETA has been provisionally in force since September 21, 2017, but only in areas of undisputed EU competence.

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