Letter sent on October 6 to Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, and to the SPÖ governing board.

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H.E. Christian Kern
Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria
Federal Chancellery
Ballhausplatz 2
1010 Vienna

October 6, 2016

Your Excellency, Chancellor Kern

We, the undersigned, wish to commend you on the concern you have expressed at the potential negative impacts of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, and we call on you to vote against the ratification of the agreement when it comes before the General Affairs Council of the European Union this month.

You are aware of the huge concern that exists across Europe as to the unprecedented new powers that will be granted to North American businesses as a result of trade deals such as CETA and the parallel Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and USA:

  • A record 3.5 million people have signed the European Initiative against CETA and TTIP, from all 28 EU member states.
  • The European Trade Union Confederation, representing 45 million workers across Europe, has confirmed its outright opposition to CETA.
  • The European Public Service Union, representing 8 million European public service workers, has called for the rejection of CETA over its threat to public services.
  • National and regional parliaments in Belgium, France, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Netherlands, Bulgaria and Romania have raised serious concerns relating to CETA that could block its ratification at the national level.
  • The SPÖ’s sister party in the UK, the Labour Party, has just reaffirmed its opposition to any form of investment court system in EU trade agreements, including CETA.

Recent initiatives undertaken to ease the passage of CETA through the ratification process have done nothing to address the fundamental concerns as to the agreement’s negative aspects.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has confirmed that the binding declaration proposed to ‘clarify’ certain issues in CETA will do nothing to alter the text of the agreement. That declaration will be unable, therefore, to address our concerns as to the substance of CETA.

The introduction of the proposed Investment Court System means that CETA will still grant North American investors the right to sue democratically elected European governments in their own privileged judicial system.

The proposal presented to the EU’s Trade Policy Committee on 16 September for provisional application of CETA means that substantial parts of this highly controversial agreement will still be brought into force before the democratic process of national ratification has run its course.

We commend your repeated statements of concern as to the potential negative impacts of CETA, and we call on you to defend the rights and interests of the people of Europe from the threats posed by CETA by voting against the ratification of the agreement.

Yours sincerely,


European and International Networks

Alter Summit
European Environmental Bureau
European Network against Health commercialisation
Food & Water Europe
Friends of the Earth Europe
Health and Trade Network
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (Europe)

Canadian Organisations

Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Council of Canadians
Common Frontiers
National Farmers Union (NFU) Canada
National Union of Public and General Employees
Réseau québécois sur l’intégration continentale (RQIC)
Trade Justice Network

European Organisations

2B Fair Foundation, Poland
Aitec, France
AEFJN, Belgium
Akademie an der Steilküste, Germany
Aktionsbündnis No Moor Fracking, Germany
Alliance D19-20    Belgium
Amandamaji ry, Finland
Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL), Germany
Asociaţia România Vie / Romania Alive Society, Romania
Attac Bizkaia, Spain
Attac Finland, Finland
Attac France, France
Attac Ireland, Ireland
Attac Spain, Spain
Berliner Wassertisch, Germany
BI Fracking freies Hessen n.e.V., Germany
BI lebenswertes Korbach e.V., Germany
Biodynamiske Forbrugere, Denmark
Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) e. V. / Friends of the Earth Germany, Germany
Bürgerinitiative FrackingFreies Hamburg, Germany
Bürgerinitiative Havixbeck, Germany
BürgerInneninitiative Umweltschutz Uelzen, Germany
Campaña estatal “No al TTIP, CETA y TiSA” (España) – 340 organisations, Spain
Citizen’s Initiative “Saubere Umwelt & Energie Altmark”, Germany
Civilna iniciativa za sLOVEnijo in svOboDO, Slovenia
CNE, Belgium
Collectif Roosevelt, France
Compassion in World Farming, United Kingdom
Comunitatea Uniţi Salvăm / United We Save Community, Romania
Confederación Intersindical, Spain
Confédération paysanne, France
Confédération paysanne PACA, France
Corporate Europe Observatory, Belgium
de-clic.ro, Romania
Ecologistas en Acción, Spain
Ekumenická akademie    Czech Republic
Emmaus Aurinkotehdas ry, Finland
EQUO    Spain
Europe and we Association, Bulgaria
Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Education – FSIE, Romania
FGTB Wallonne, Belgium
Food & Water Europe, Belgium
Forebyggelses- og Patientrådet, Denmark
Forum Umwelt & Entwicklung, Germany
Foundation for environment and agriculture, Bulgaria
Frente Civico Somos Mayoría – Valencia, Spain
Friends of the Earth Denmark, Denmark
Friends of the Earth Finland, Finland
Friends of the Earth Ireland, Ireland
Fundacion Mundubat, Spain
Fundacja Kuźnia Kampanierów, Poland
Fundacja Strefa Zieleni, Poland
Gemeinnütziger Umweltschutzverein pro grün e.V. Paderborn, Germany
Global Justice Now, United Kingdom
GRAIN, Spain
Hazards Campaign, United Kingdom
Ηellenic Mining Watch    Greece
Initiative stopp TTIP BGL/TS, Germany
Intersindical Valenciana, Spain
Kehys – The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU, Finland
Klimaat -en vredesactiegroep Pimpampoentje    Belgium
KMU gegen TTIP Germany, Germany
Les Amis de la Terre, France
Links Ecologisch Forum – Forum Gauche Ecologie, Belgium
Maattomien ystävät ry, Finland
May Day, Denmark
Mehr Demokratie e.V., Germany
Mehr Demokratie e.V. LV Hamburg, Germany
MES – Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire, France
Milieudefensie, The Netherlands
Mouvement Utopia, France
National Justice & Peace Network, United Kingdom
Nature Friends Greece, Greece
New Wind Association, Finland
ONEJ, Slovenia
Pah valencia, Spain
Plataforma No al TTIP-CETA d’Elx, Spain
Platform Aarde Boer Consument    The Netherlands
PowerShift e.V., Germany
Puntarji Slovenije, Slovenia
Rettet den Regenwald e. V., Germany
REPER21 Association    Romania
Solidary Bulgaria, Bulgaria
StopTTIP UK, United Kingdom
STV Som Energia Valencia, Spain
TTIP and Agriculture coalition    The Netherlands
Transnational Institute (TNI), The Netherlands
TTIP Network Finland, Finland
UFISC – Union fédérale d’Intervention des Structures Culturelles, France
Umanotera, Slovenia
USTEA (Unión de Sindicatos de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores en Andalucía), Spain
War on Want, United Kingdom
Wir gegen fracking Lüneburg, Germany
Women Against Nuclear Power, Finland
Women for Peace, Finland
Za Zemiata, Friends of the Earth Bulgaria, Bulgaria
ZELS Združenje etažnih lastnikov Slovenije, Slovenia
ZERO – Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System, Portugal