Status: Ratified 1 December 2022

Germany has a bicameral system (Bundestag and Bundesrat). CETA was ratified under Germany’s current “traffic light coalition” government, composed of Social Democrats (SPD), Greens, and Free Democrats (FDP), with support from the largest opposition party, the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU). The Bundestag made its decision with a broad majority (559:110); the Bundesrat (upper house) had decided in September 2022 not to raise any objections. The German government tied ratification to the demand for additional EU-Canada interpretive declarations clarifying rules on investor protection, strengthening the role of the European Parliament in regulatory cooperation, and limiting the powers of the CETA Joint Committee.

Public debate

CETA was hotly debated in Germany, including among the partners in Chancellor Scholz’s coalition government. Two coalition partners (Social Democratic Party and Free Democratic Party) supported CETA’s ratification; the third coalition partner, the Greens, was critical but ultimately agreed to ratification. The far-right Alternative for Germany and the far left Linke opposed ratification. Criticism of CETA was also voiced by trade unionists, environmentalists, and consumer advocacy groups. These included Attac Germany, Health and Environmental Justice Support, and LobbyControl. Opponents argued that CETA gives multinational corporations a “parallel justice system”, which has the potential to erode the precautionary principle and in turn, workers’ rights and food safety. Moreover, opponent CSOs argued that CETA was a “trojan horse” deal for an eventual EU-US agreement. Proponents of CETA included the Federation of German Industries.

Trade data

In 2021, Germany had a trade surplus in goods trade with Canada of €5.57 billion, making it as Canada’s largest trading partner within the EU (Eurostat). Moreover, imports from Canada were €4.45 billion, 1% of Germany’s imports from outside the EU. Exports were €10.03 billion, 1.6% of Germany’s extra-EU exports (Eurostat). Canada-Germany bilateral goods trade (imports + exports) grew by  €2.58 billion, or 17.1%, between 2016 and 2019 (Statistics Canada).


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