Desperate to Salvage Canada-EU Trade Pact, EU Escalates Assault on Democracy

The European Commission, it seems, will never learn. Despite the existential crisis caused by Britain’s decision to leave the EU and the serious questions being raised about the EU’s gaping lack of democratic legitimacy, the European Commission just escalated its assault on European democracy. This week the Commission announced that it would ratify CETA, the controversial trade deal between Canada and the EU, as a unilateral EU agreement, not as a so-called mixed agreement.

What that means is that the national parliaments of the 27 remaining EU member states will have no influence whatsoever over the approval process, even though (or more likely because) the trade agreement will have huge, sweeping effects on the society, governance, and economy of all the nations concerned. In other words, the EU’s democratic deficit, one of the decisive factors in Britain’s decision to sever the cord from Brussels, just got a whole lot bigger. Yet it was barely reported in the press.

Here’s more from Euractiv, one of the few English-language media outlets that actually bothered to cover the story:

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reportedly told EU leaders on Tuesday (28 June) that the Commission considers the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) an “EU-only” agreement and would propose next week (5 July) a simple approval procedure…

“The agreement we have made with Canada is the best agreement the EU has ever made,” Juncker said, insisting that the Commission had come to the conclusion that CETA was not a mixed agreement, after a detailed analysis. “But if the member states decide legal opinions are not valid in politics then I am the last person that would stand in their way.”

Juncker went on to say that it was a false debate. “None of the member states have a problem with the content of this agreement,” he insisted, adding he had asked the leaders this individually while they were here in Brussels.

And that is how democracy works — or better put, doesn’t work — in Europe today

Continue reading the article at WOLF STREET

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