In a landmark judgement, the ECJ ruled that provisions of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are not in breach of EU law. Incidentally, CETA is yet to be full implemented in the EU.
On Tuesday, in a significant development, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the provisions of the EU-Canada free-trade agreement protect investors and do not breach EU law. The ruling comes as a major relief to proponents of the deal which came into force in 2017.
In its ruling the ECJ found, the mechanism to resolve disputes between investors and states in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, which according to critics unfairly favor multinationals, is in line with EU law. The system of tribunals to settle disputes between foreign investors and states became a focal point of protests against the planned EU-U.S. TTIP trade deal and CETA when EU countries were deciding whether to back the latter in 2016.
The Belgian region of Wallonia, which was then led by the Socialists, had threatened to block the deal, but thanks to the guidance provided by the federal government it did not do so in return for certain concessions, which includes a request for the ECJ to give its view.
Didier Reynders, Belgium’s Foreign Minister, said was pleased with the ruling. He went on to mention, Belgian businesses had done well in the first year of CETA.
CETA entered force on a provisional basis in September 2017. Its full implementation will require the approval of all 28 EU member countries and regional parliaments.