On February 29, Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, and Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, stated that “Canada and the European Commission are very pleased to announce that the legal review of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement [CETA] English text has been completed.
“As part of the legal review, modifications were made to the investment chapter, further to discussions between European Union [EU] and Canadian officials. With these modifications, Canada and the EU will strengthen the provisions on governments’ right to regulate; move to a permanent, transparent and institutionalized dispute-settlement tribunal; revise the process for the selection of tribunal members, who will adjudicate investor claims; set out more detailed commitments on ethics for all tribunal members; and agree to an appeal system.
“We have responded to Canadians, EU citizens, and businesses with a fairer, more transparent, system. These modifications reflect our desire to reform investment protection and dispute-resolution provisions and to continue working together to improve the process, including working with other trading partners to pursue the establishment of a multilateral investment tribunal, a project to which the EU and Canada are firmly committed. Canada and the European Commission will now complete the translation and review of the text in French and the 21 other EU treaty languages. Once finalized, we will focus on the swift ratification of CETA so that individuals and businesses, both large and small, are able to benefit from the opportunities offered by this gold-standard agreement. We are confident that CETA will be signed in 2016 and will enter into force in 2017.”