Written QeA to EU Commission – CETA provisional application?

Question for written answer to the Commission
Dietmar Köster (S&D) – 16th February 2015

Subject:  ‘Provisional application’ of the CETA

Many ordinary Europeans are concerned about the implications of the CETA and TTIP free trade agreements.

It recently emerged that as a result of a ‘provisional application’ decision by the European Council sections of the CETA will become binding under international law even though they have not been approved by the parliaments of the EU Member States.

1. Which sections of the agreement are involved?

2. Do these include the provisions on ISDS?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission – 27th April 2015

Article 218(5) of the TFEU attributes to the Council the possibility to decide on the provisional application of international agreements to be concluded by the Union.

For the time being, none of the provisions of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada are being provisionally applied as the text of the agreement is being legally revised.

The Council will take a decision on the signature of CETA on the basis of a proposal from the Commission and, if warranted, will also decide on its provisional application.

It is important to note in this context that Commissioner Malmström has declared in writing to the INTA Committee that, ‘(e)ven if the power to decide on provisional application lies with the Council, (…) I am ready, when proposing decisions to sign politically important trade agreements which fall under my responsibility, to ask the Council to delay provisional application until the European Parliament has given its consent’. It is also to be noted that, in recent years, several important trade agreements were provisionally applied only after the European Parliament had given its consent.

(Source: EU Parliament)