The Commission has announced that the signing of the ‘Provisional’ implementation of CETA [1] will take place on Sunday.

The lack of transparency in the negotiations of CETA has been staggering and it is only the recent refusal by Wallonia to sign, that has truly brought CETA to focus.

However, CETA has to come back to each Country for ratification. There will be huge pressure to advance the deal quickly now, before people take stock and wake up. So, An Taisce is calling for a properly informed debate in both Houses of the OIreachtas before that ratification.

An Taisce supports the opportunity for trade between the EU and Canada but there is need for assurances this will not erode environmental protection. An Taisce seeks assurances from the Government that CETA will not interfere with their ability to introduce strong Environmental Laws to protect future generations.

Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications Officer of An Taisce stated “An area of great concern is a new system of arbitration – called the “Investor Court system”. Under this big business may seek compensate from Government, if they introduce in the future policy and regulations which impact on their profitability or ‘legitimate expectation’ of profits. This may frighten the Government from introducing strong Environmental Law."

He continued “Tobacco companies have used similar agreements to sue countries for bringing in plain cigarette packaging and companies have sued states for opposing fracking and for reducing their use of nuclear power.

Stanley-Smith concluded “As a result of their recent refusal to sign, the Wallonians have been assured that Belgium will put the question on the legality of ICS to the EU Court of Justice. The Irish Government seem happy to go into this blindfold, and we are calling on them to await the ECJ’s ruling in this case. 


Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: [email protected]
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland


[1] CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) the proposed trade deal between Canada and the EU.

About An Taisce

An Taisce is a charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland's natural and built heritage. We are an independent charitable voice for the environment and for heritage issues. We are not a government body, semi-state or agency. Founded in 1948, we are one of Ireland’s oldest and largest environmental organisations.