Flags Canada and European Union to CETA; source: istockphoto.com/carolo7 - colourbox.de

© istockphoto.com/carolo7 - colourbox.de

The German Federal Constitutional Court has today decided in a fast-track procedure that it is constitutional for the Federal Government to agree to the adoption of CETA in the Council of Ministers. This also clears the way for CETA to be signed by Germany. The Court emphasized the importance of the agreement for German and EU foreign policy alike.

Federal Minister Gabriel said: "The Federal Constitutional Court has cleared the way for CETA. I greatly welcome this. CETA is a modern free trade agreement that we can use to shape globalisation and establish high environmental, consumer and labour standards. The different arguments were examined closely during the course of oral negotiations and a hearing of the complainants. We fully agree with the requirements laid down by the court and will act to meet these."

The oral negotiations at the Federal Constitutional Court focused especially on the scope of the powers to be given to the committees envisaged under CETA, and on how the provisional application of the agreement could be terminated were its ratification in Germany ultimately to fail.

The Federal Constitutional Court thus decided

  1. that a Council decision on the provisional application of CETA will only cover those parts of the agreement which fall under the competence of the European Union (EU only),
  2. that until the Federal Constitutional Court rules on the merits of the case, the Member States have to be given sufficient influence on the decisions taken in the CETA committees,
  3. that the Federal Government will declare that it can terminate the provisional application of CETA in the event that ratification of the agreement in Germany fails.