On 29 February, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem and Canadian Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland announced that the two parties finished the legal review of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The FTA was informally concluded in 2014 and the legal review was seen as a mere formality before conclusion and ratification. However, due to public outcry against investment protection mechanisms, so-called ISDS, in the EU, the European Commission sought a way to adjust the corresponding chapter of CETA without fully re-opening the negotiations again. In the meantime, as part of TTIP negotiations, Commissioner Malmstroem presented her new approach on ISDS – private ad hoc bodies were to be replaced by jointly and publically appointed independent judges. The new Canadian government of PM Justin Trudeau made this change feasible. The chapter on investment protection was re-written to correspond to Commissioner Malmstroem´s new modernized ISDS approach. The two parties also agreed to pursue internationally the founding of a permanent investment protection court. Furthermore, language on right to regulate was strengthened as part of the legal review. The two parties now hope to have the deal translated into French, as well as into all other 21 EU languages as soon as possible, with the aim of signing it in 2016, and of applying it as of 2017.
2nd May 2018