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

© istockphoto.com/carolo7 - colourbox.de

Federal Minister Gabriel has today approved the signing of CETA by the Federal Republic of Germany.

Federal Minister Gabriel said: "Following the approval given by the Bundestag, the whole of the Federal Government has declared itself in favour of the conclusion of the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada. CETA is a sound and modern agreement. It provides us with a major opportunity to lay down fair and sound rules for ever deepening globalisation, and to actively shape this. The European Commission yesterday presented the declaration with legal status between the EU and Canada at the meeting of the Trade Ministers' Council in Luxembourg. The declaration sets out the will of the contracting parties on important areas of the agreement, such as investment protection, public services, and workers' rights. The precautionary principle is also stressed. I am delighted that Germany has been able to deliver good preparatory work for the European-Canadian declaration based on the German-Canadian Joint Declaration on CETA, which I co-signed with Canadian Trade Minister Ms Chrystia Freeland on 18 September 2016. The requirements deriving from the ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court of 13 October 2016 were also implemented by consensus in yesterday's Council."

In addition to this, a supplementary protocol has also been submitted concerning the cessation of provisional application of CETA, and agreement was also reached on all the other outstanding points. Formal decisions will now be recorded in a written circulation procedure, after which the Member States will each sign the agreement, before it is ceremonially signed by the European Union and Canada on 27 October 2016.