Today Marian welcomed the decision of the Belgian federal and regional governments to refer the Investor Courts System of the EU-Canadian trade deal (CETA) to the European Court of Justice for its opinion on such courts’ compatibility with the European Treaties.
Speaking in Brussels, she said “I am delighted with this decision which validates the concerns of all those MEPs, NGOs and citizens who raised red flags about the inclusion of such a court system in the CETA trade deal.
“I have consistently voted against the inclusion of these special investor courts, which are outside the jurisdiction of national courts and the ECJ and which give large investors the ability to sue Member States where governments put legislation in place that might negatively affect their investments. Examples of such cases include Philip Morris Tobacco Company suing the Uruguay government over public health laws on smoking and an American waste company successfully suing the Canadian government for banning the export of toxic PCB waste.
“I believe that the Irish government must not ratify CETA until the ECJ gives its opinion on this crucial matter and in the meantime there should be a full and frank debate in Dáil Éireann on this and other significant issues in the CETA deal”, Marian Harkin concluded.