Geert Bourgeois: “CETA advice to the European Court of Justice confirms Flemish position”

29 January 2019
Geert Bourgeois

Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois is pleased that Advocate General Bot confirms his view that the CETA law is fully compatible with Union law in an important opinion piece to the European Court of Justice. The Advocate General argues that the legislation does not affect the autonomy of Union law and is without prejudice to the principle that the Court has exclusive jurisdiction to give a definitive interpretation of Union law.

Flemish position

“In line with the Flemish position, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice now also confirms that the modern investment protection mechanism in the CETA Treaty is indeed compatible with EU law,” said Minister-President Bourgeois.

It is also important that the agreement does not conflict with the general principle of equal treatment as regards access to the dispute resolution mechanism. The Advocate General also refutes the frequently heard criticism that there are too few procedural safeguards. The latter states that the right of access to an independent and impartial court enshrined in Article 47 of the Charter is indeed adequately protected.

A post-Brexit solution?

“In view of the substantiated opinion of Advocate General Bot, I look forward with confidence to the ruling of the Court of Justice. This ruling is not only important for the negotiation of similar modern and independent investment protection courts with important trading partners for Flanders such as Japan but is also of great importance for our future relationship with the United Kingdom. Since the May government no longer wants to recognise the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice post-Brexit, the establishment of an investment protection court between the EU and the UK, as with Canada, could provide a solution,” according to the Minister-President.

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