STRASBOURG, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- The European Parliament (EP) on Wednesday rejected a request to refer the landmark free-trade deal signed between the European Union (EU) and Canada in October to the European Court of Justice for an opinion.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, was signed on Oct. 30, 2016. It still needs to get consent from the EP to enter into force provisionally.
However, 89 members of European Parliament (MEPs) jointly submitted a proposal to refer the deal to the EU auditors for an opinion, questioning whether the free trade deal's investor protection provisions are in line with the right of governments to regulate in order to achieve legitimate public policy aims, such as protecting health, safety or the environment.
During the third day of the EP's November plenary, the referral request was rejected by 419 votes to 258, with 22 abstentions, paving the way for a vote on the CETA agreement itself.
"Our legal experts said that CETA has no effect on our legal framework, on the competencies of the EU or on our constitutional rights. This agreement provides an answer to our concerns regarding globalization without causing problems for democracy", said rapporteur MEP Daniel Caspary.
The European Parliament's legal service found no contradiction between CETA's investment chapter and the EU Treaties when it assessed this issue in June this year.
Therefore, the landmark deal is to be put to a vote by EP's international trade committee on Dec. 5.