by Hanna Sander
On February 14 the members of the European Parliament (EP) will vote on CETA, the free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada. The options are clear, you can vote pro, con or abstain. You could think that after 10 months of discussion and consideration of the final text version, the MEPs should have made up their minds about their decision and be able to substantiate it in front of their voters.
On January 6th about 30 activist from various Berlin and Brandenburg organizations gathered, to show MEP Susanne Melior of the German SPD that her consent with CETA is not in the interest of the Brandenburg citizens. Right outside her Potsdam office, we also showed support for the many SPD members, who have already publicly positioned themselves against CETA.
The EP declares a constituency week from January 2nd to 6th, a week without meetings so the MEPs can have time to communicate with citizens. Nevertheless we were told at our arrival, that Mrs. Melior was on vacation. Her staff was kind enough to present a written statement.
It wasn’t a statement, though, that clearly took a stand, as we would have wished from an MEP few weeks away from an important vote. It was rather a repetition of known cliches, empty phrases and sedation of the European Commission concerning CETA, that didn’t address any of the many points of criticism against the treaty. Hardly surprising that we felt misunderstood.
About a year ago, the SPD decided on “red lines” for CETA and TTIP during their party congress and affirmed them – though slightly weakened – on their party convent last September in Wolfsburg. Those who want to see and hear, are able to recognize, that those “red lines” have clearly been surpassed with CETA in various areas. And there are many German and European social democrats who do want to see and hear! Susanne Melior apparently isn’t part of them, yet.
To win her and other unsure MEPs over, we have to use the remaining days to show presence and to watch our delegates closely. We hope to convince them, that environmental protection, precaution and democracy is more important to us, than the interest of multinational corporations, and that it also should be more important to them, if they are counting on our votes in the upcoming elections.
In order to show Mrs. Melior, that we are not accepting her off-the-shelf statement, but are expecting a clear stance against CETA in the environment committee and the plenum, we asked her to state her position via CETA CHECK. I am sure she will return from vacation soon to answer all of your inqueries.
Contact her via www.cetacheck.eu, directly at her constituency office in Potsdam at Alleestraße 9 or via phone at (0331) 73098400 to personally convince her, to take a stand against CETA!
We will not give up!view on flickr