On December 1, the Bundestag voted on the Transatlantic Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU. The agreement has already been provisionally in force since 2017. Now it has been ratified.


With 559 votes in favor of the agreement and only 110 against, the Bundestag’s decision was clear. Most of the votes against came from the AfD and Die Linke parties. While Bernd Riexinger (Die Linke) speaks of a “big mistake”, the FDP is already pushing ahead with the next free trade agreements. They are talking about the pending Mercosur agreement and others with Chile and Mexico.

Opportunities and risks of the CETA free trade agreement

Advantages of the CETA agreement are, according to the European Commission:

– The elimination of tariffs on 99 percent of all tariff lines

– The protection of geographical indications of food products, including in Canada

– Improving and securing access for EU companies to the Canadian services market.


Opponents of the trade agreement criticize the special rights of action for companies. These allow Canadian companies, for example, to claim damages from Germany if they incur profit losses, for example, as a result of an environmental protection law that has been passed. Critics see this as a restriction of the state’s scope for action – especially in the sensitive areas of climate protection and the energy transition. The interpretative declaration, which was supposed to defuse investment protection, has no effect, according to the critics.

Source: European Commission, Lower House of German Parliament (Bundestag) (german)