Barlow challenges CETA in Barcelona

Brent Patterson
4 years ago

Maude in Barcelona

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow is in Barcelona, Spain highlighting our opposition to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)/ Investment Court System (ICS) provisions.

Yesterday, Barlow was interviewed by media, met with the deputy mayor of Barcelona, talked with local organizations, and spoke at a public event.

After that public forum, she tweeted, "Great turnout to talk about CETA/TTIP in Barcelona! Beautiful city with soul."

Maude in Barcelona

Our friends and allies tweeted yesterday (in the Catalan language):

  • Water is a human right and a common good and we must not allow it to be marketed, Maude Barlow warns of CETA and TTIP
  • Maude Barlow says water as a freely accessible and universal right is in grave danger with CETA and TTIP
  • Maude Barlow says justice and sustainability are two universal principles that would be violated through CETA and TTIP
  • Maude Barlow explains her great love for water and that she has always fought against its commodification
  • Maude Barlow says if CETA is ratified we will have TTIP applying because there are mechanisms to make it possible
  • Maude Barlow explains the impacts of TTIP, CETA and ISDS

Barcelona posterToday, Barlow will be at the Catalan Parliament to meet with fourteen Members of Parliament about CETA and TTIP.

Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain that consists of four provinces, including Barcelona. The Parliament of Catalonia has 135 members. The largest number of seats is held by the Together for Yes coalition, a group that supports the independence of Catalonia. While Spain's Constitutional Court accepts Catalonia as a nation, it has ruled that this is a historical and cultural term with no legal weight. The Together for Yes coalition includes the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia, the Republican Left of Catalonia, Democrats of Catalonia, and the Left Movement.

Corporate Europe Observatory noted that Spain has had two investor-state claims filed against it. Barlow is bringing to Spain the experience of Canada, which has been the target of 35 investor-state claims over the last two decades with foreign investors seeking more than $6 billion in damages from the Canadian government.

Barlow has commented, "I'm in Europe to share a powerful story of Canada's experience that is relevant for two reasons. The first is that we Canadians have lived with ISDS for 20 years. The other reason Europeans should care about Canada is that CETA contains the ISDS provision. CETA could act as a 'back door' for American corporations with offices in Canada to sue European governments whether TTIP is adopted or not."

On Nov. 11, Barlow spoke against CETA, TTIP and ISDS/ICS in Madrid. For more on that, please click here.

Spain holds 53 seats in the European Parliament. These will be critical votes when CETA goes before the European Parliament to be ratified. That vote is expected to happen in late 2016 or in 2017. It is also likely that the Spanish Congress of Deputies will hold a ratification vote on CETA too. The conservative People's Party currently holds the majority of seats in that Congress, but faces a general election on December 20. Polls suggest that the People's Party could lose that election. The next most likely party to form government is the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.

Further reading
Saint John opts for Spanish company for its P3 drinking water system (Nov. 8, 2015)
CETA could mean Galicia pays for unwanted open-pit gold mine (Jan. 13, 2015)
Spain's Repsol SA buys Calgary-based Talisman Energy Inc., the fifth largest oil and gas producer in Canada (Dec. 16, 2014)
Tar sands oil arrives in Spain, more expected with the Energy East pipeline (May 29, 2014)
CETA could challenge fracking ban in Cantabria, Spain (Nov. 12, 2013)

Twitter photos from Catalunya no al TTIP.