06:24 GMT09 August 2020
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    Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser Shira Stanton said that endorsing CETA plays into the hands of populists and extremists from Europe to North America.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Parliament members still have a chance to reject controversial trade deal between the European Union and Canada, known as CETA, as its implementation will undermine democracy and the rule of law in Europe, Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser Shira Stanton said on Wednesday.

    "Endorsing CETA plays into the hands of populists and extremists from Europe to North America. And just as the world feels the impact of a corporate takeover in Washington, CETA [the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement] threatens to undermine democracy and the rule of law in Europe, for the benefit of a handful of multinationals. Elected representatives from each EU country still have a chance to stop this toxic trade deal and take a stand for people and nature," Stanton said in a press release.

    The call to reject CETA came as the European parliamentarians are preparing for a vote later on Wednesday on ratification of this free trade deal aimed at most trade barriers' elimination.

    While the largest political group in the European Parliament, the European People's Party that holds 217 seats, as well as the third- and fourth-largest blocs, the European Conservatives and Reformists and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, all support the deal, the second-largest bloc – that of Socialist and Democrats (S&D) with 189 votes — has been split on the CETA issue. As S&D rapporteur on CETA Sorin Moisa told journalists, the group members met late Tuesday with some 65 percent of its lawmakers voting in favor of CETA a day before the official vote.

    Green lawmakers as well as far-right nationalist members of parliament, like the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and French National Front members, are reported to oppose the trade deal.

    On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to leave for Brussels to speak to European lawmakers to celebrate and promote the new deal provided it is given a green light.

    If approved, Canada and the European Union may provisionally apply over 90 percent of the deal within months. The rest must be ratified by individual EU member countries.


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    Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), European Union
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