December 2 2014 - by Kurt Huebner, Institute for European Studies, University of British Columbia
The German Minister for the Economy, Vice-Chancellor of the Coalition Government and head of the Socialdemocratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, is a talented politician who comes with a lack of credibility. When protests of civil society organizations about CETA and more so about TTIP, latter still in the negotiation stage, swapped over to the German Federation of Labor (DGB) he was quick to state that TTIP will not come with the infamous investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) clause. His - convincing - argument was that both entities, the US (Canada) as well as the member states of the EU, have excellent legal systems that do not need additional private courts for settling disputes between private companies and states. With this statement he was very much in line with his party that sent strong utterings over the last few months not to pass CETA in its current form. On November 27 in a debate in the German Parliament Gabriel performed a first-rate turnaround. He now stressed that CETA is a great negotiation outcome that needs not only to be signed off but actually is to be seen as the blueprint for everything that comes. And he added, that without CETA the negotiations with the US may come under further pressure, and more so Europe would lose out the race with emerging Asia and China. In brief, questioning CETA would be political as well as economic suicide.
Read Dr. Kurt Huebner's full comment on his blog.
Dr. Kurt Huebner is the Director of the Institute for European Studies at the University of British Columbia and holds a Jean Monnet Chair for European Integration and Global Political Economy. He is also part of a pan-Canada network of experts working on European policy issues, the Strategic Knowledge Cluster Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue.