Exclusive Left Party Files Suit against Canada Trade Deal in Constitutional Court

Parliamentarians from the socialist Left Party have filed a lawsuit against the European Union’s free trade deal with Canada, known as CETA, in Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court. “It’s a sad indictment that after years of CETA negotiations, the result is in all likelihood unconstitutional because it violates the principles of democracy, the rule of law and the social welfare state,” said Klaus Ernst, the deputy head of the Left Party’s parliamentary group. CETA is considered a blueprint for a trade deal between the European Union and the United States, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP for short. There has been strong grass roots mobilization in Germany against trade deals with North America due to concerns that consumer, environmental and labor standards would be weakened. The Left Party’s suit against CETA comes just days after the former president of the constitutional court, Hans-Jürgen Papier, raised concerns about how the European Union negotiates trade deals such as CETA and TTIP.  “For constitutional reasons, taking a pause from TTIP is recommended,” Mr. Papier told Handelsblatt. “The public has the feeling that the far-reaching law is being made without parliament.” The European Commission, the E.U. executive body, originally argued that CETA was a purely European matter and didn’t require ratification by the national parliaments. Brussels was ultimately forced to relent under intense pressure, particularly from Germany, to include member states parliaments in the ratification process. “Unpopular content can’t be slipped past parliament,” Mr. Papier said. “That’s reprehensible in terms of democratic theory and is an arrogant and cynical way of proceeding.” Picture Source: Getty Images