After Dutch parliament agreed to ratify CETA on February 18, 2020, it is now up to the Dutch Senate to give its final approval on this Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada.
On May 12th 2020, the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Foreign Aid organized an expert session to prepare for their vote. The NCCC was invited to share their insights. The session was kicked off by Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner of Trade. Other Dutch input was given by VNO NCW (association of employers), FNV (labour union), LTO (Farmers association), Evo Fenedex (trade association for trade and export) and Milieudefensie (association promoting sustainability).
The session was focused on Economic consequences, food quality and level playing field. Our NCCC Chair, Sandra Brandenburg, explained the positive impact of the lifting of 98% of export duties, the ability for Dutch companies to enter in Canadian national and local bids and the improved collaboration between R&D institutes and universities. She expressed the NCCC’s confidence that this modern trade agreement upholds social and sustainability goals and product standards. And that it also shows an ambition to upgrade these goals and standards within the boundaries of good governance. Finally our long standing bilateral relationship and shared values were underlined as the historic and solid foundation of this trade agreement.
Except for the input of Commissioner Hogan, the session was in Dutch. It can be watched online: https://youtu.be/rnEkTNB3ZeU. You can see Sandra from 1:01:30.
Due to COVID-19, the expert sessions were divided over 2 days. On May 19th 2020, Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands Lisa Helfand and a list of legal experts in European Law and Trade & Investment will share their thoughts on the Treaty and the International Court System. After which the senate will arrive at a final conclusion.