Article 6 - The Legal Nature of New Generation Free Trade Agreements: Lessons from the CETA Saga
Keywords:Canada, CETA, Court of Justice, European Union, Mixed Agreements.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a “new generation” bilateral “mixed” free trade agreement signed on 30 October 2016 between Canada and the European Union alongside its Member States. In the European Union, “mixed” trade agreements follow an adoption procedure that determines, in the best-case scenario, a substantial delay to their entry into force, and, in the worst, a veto by Member States that damages the international standing of the European Union. The European Commission bowed to Member States’ pressure and decided to qualify CETA as a “mixed agreement” instead of an “EU-only agreement”. That the “guardian of the Treaties” had no constitutional leeway on the choice of CETA’s approval form became clear after the decision of the Court of Justice on the free trade agreement negotiated between the European Union and Singapore (Opinion 2/15). CETA’s “mixed” nature determines that its application is limited and provisional, and under a permanent Damocles sword existential threat.
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