Strasbourg, February 15 (MTI) – MEPs of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party and the opposition Socialists welcomed the EU-Canada free trade pact CETA which the European Parliament adopted in a vote on Wednesday. MEPs of Jobbik rejected the deal.
József Szájer of Fidesz said that their group supported the agreement “at the request of [Hungarian] Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó in line with the votes of the EPP group” after amendments they had submitted had been incorporated into the final document.
The deal on dismantling barriers to free trade was in this form acceptable as it will serve the interests of Hungary as a country focusing heavily on foreign trade, Szájer said. CETA will help entrepreneurs and support job creation, he added.
“We understand concerns over the pact. But only time and experiences will tell to what degree the deal will fulfil the expectations attached to it,” Szájer said.
Tibor Szanyi, of the opposition Socialists, said that “as a result of pressure exerted by the left wing, the EP adopted a pact that can be supported in its final form”.
He said he could fully support CETA in its present form as a pact that “contains guarantees on enforcing EU achievements particularly important for the Socialists”.
These include enforcing welfare, environmental and health-care regulations and standards on a full scale, as well as representing the interests of job-holders and small entrepreneurs in all fields in the expanding trading and economic ties between the EU and Canada,” he said.
CETA was approved by 408 votes to 254, with 33 abstentions.
The adoption of CETA promotes the interests of global corporations
After a heated debate, today the European Parliament approved of the EU-Canada free trade deal (CETA). Certain parts will enter into force even before the Member States ratify the agreement.
Jobbik MEPs rejected the deal because it endangers the Union’s environmental and food safety norms, labour achievements as well as the sustainable European agriculture, while the institution of a multilateral investment protection court curbs the sovereignty of Member States. When talking about CETA’s benefits, it is typically mentioned that the EU’s small and medium enterprises will have Canadian business opportunities. However, the reality is that 87 per cent of European small and medium enterprises work for the domestic market; they are not going to enter the Canadian market. Instead, Canada’s capital-intensive enterprises will use their dominant position to gain grounds in the EU market. Meanwhile, US-based enterprises will enter Europe’s market through their Canadian subsidiaries, enjoying the benefits provided by the CETA.
The EP’s website proudly announces that “the 751 members of the European Parliament represent you, the citizens.” It is a shame that the majority of this Parliament, led by the European People’s Party, approved of this agreement which promotes the interests of global corporations.
Zoltán Balczó, head of Jobbik’s EP delegation