EU Parliament fails to listen to citizens on CETA

Stop TTIP European Initiative
Press Release
15. February 2017

Despite the concerns of 3.5 million citizens across Europe, a majority of Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of the EU-Canada trade deal today. Activists prepare for stopping the controversial agreement in the upcoming 38 member state and regional parliament votes.

Strasbourg – When Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) entered the European Parliament this morning, citizens from all countries were there to remind them that the majority of Europeans is expecting them to vote against CETA, the controversial EU-Canada trade deal. However, a majority of MEPs decided not to listen to their electorate and voted in favour. In the final vote, 408 voted in favour of the deal and 254 against with 33 absentions.

“We are of course disappointed by the results of this vote, but it is not over yet,” states Amélie Canonne of the Stop TTIP alliance and Co-President of AITEC (France). “The recent success of the popular initiative in Austria showed that when citizens are given a chance to speak, they are overwhelmingly against deals like CETA.”

3.5 million citizens signed the European Citizen’s Initiative demanding an end of CETA and TTIP. Over 500 organisations came together in this campaign. Hundreds of thousands in Europe participated in the CETA CHECK campaign by sending emails to their representatives, writing postcards, making phone calls, or going to see them in their constituencies.

“The struggle against CETA and TTIP has taken participation in European democracy to a new level, we’ve made European civil society stronger and better connected than ever before. Our governments can be sure that we will use this momentum to get enough Parliaments in the member states to vote against CETA. This deal poses grave threats to public health, employment and democracy. That is why we continue this fight,” concludes Ernst-Christoph Stolper, spokesperson of the Stop TTIP alliance and deputy chair of Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND).

The EP plenary vote is not the final stage in the ratification process for CETA. The trade deal now proceeds to the national parliaments where representatives will have the opportunity to vote on the deal. Many obstacles still stand in the way of the deal’s ratification: the Wallonian governement has said they will not sign CETA in its current state, Austria successfully held a call to referendum by gathering 562,552 signatures and the Netherlands is also expected to succeed in a similar call to referendum.

Stop TTIP is an alliance of over 500 European organizations that have come together to stop the TTIP and CETA trade & investment agreements. The alliance believes that these agreements need to be stopped, as they pose a threat to democracy, the rule of law, labor rights, and environmental & consumer protection. For more information visit

For further information contact Matthew Read via, +49 1525 600 7192 (mobile).