13 February 2017
As the European Parliament’s final vote on CETA approaches, concerned citizens reach out to their representatives to stop the controversial Canada-EU trade deal.
Strasbourg – After much public criticism, the EU-Canada trade deal, CETA, is scheduled for a plenary vote in the European Parliament on 15 February 2017. Today, representatives of the “Stop TTIP and CETA” alliance delivered thousands of messages from citizens to the European Parliament, represented by Vice Presidents Ulrike Lunacek and Dimitrios Papadimoulis.
Two and a half years ago, the self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative to stop TTIP and CETA was created and since that time, over 3.5 million signatures have been collected by activists all over Europe. Since summer 2016, more than 120,000 EU citizens have participated in the CETA CHECK campaign which provided a platform for them to discuss various aspects of the controversial trade deal with their MEPs.
With 3.5 Million signatures and tens of thousands of questions to MEPs, European citizens made it very clear that they reject CETA on many grounds. In a year with so many important elections across Europe, it is especially hard to assume that MEPs can ignore their electorate’s voice,” states Amélie Canonne, spokesperson of the Stop TTIP alliance and Co-President of AITEC (France).
Activists and campaigners are gathering in Strasbourg this week in a final push to convince undecided MEPs to vote against CETA. There will be stacks of signed petitions and messages from citizens all over Europe asking their MEPs to stop this trade agreement.
The unique solidarity between people of civil society through Europe, with Canadian and American people is overwhelming. It shows how strong the movement for ecological, social and fair trade agreements is, gives hope for the future, and is a very strong motivation to continue our common engagement” concludes Blanche Weber, member of the Citizens’ Committee of the Stop TTIP European Citizens’ Initiative and President of Mouvement Ecologique (Luxembourg).
The self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative “Stop TTIP and CETA” was the most successful signature gathering campaign in the EU’s history. The follow-up campaign, CETA CHECK, has been the largest democratic communication exercise on a single issue connecting citizens and their elected representatives in the European Parliament.