Status: Ratified 13 December 2017

Spain has a bicameral system (Congreso de los Diputados and Senado), requiring both to ratify CETA. CETA was ratified by the Congreso in June 2017 with 197 votes in favour, 79 against, and 81 abstentions. The Senado then ratified in October 2017, with formal notification of ratification in December 2017. Ratification was steered by a minority government led by the Popular Party, with support from the Citizens Party, Basque Nationalist Party and the Democratic Party of Catalonia.

Public debate

The contestation of CETA in Spain was intensive. The main political opposition party, the Socialist Workers’ Party abstained from voting on the ratification, while the Unidos Podemos Party voted against ratification. Opponent CSOs included trade unions, environmental groups and consumer advocacy organizations. They argued that CETA’s investor-state dispute settlement provisions violated Spanish sovereignty and would create a “regulatory chill”. Other contentious topics surrounded food safety (GMOs), agricultural interests and consumer rights. Opponent CSOs included USTEA, ATTAC, Confederación General del Trabjo (CGT-Spain). Proponents of ratification included the business community.

Trade data

Spain had a trade surplus in goods trade with Canada of €166 million in 2021 (Eurostat). Moreover, imports from Canada were €1.86 billion, which is 1.2% of Spain’s imports from outside the EU. Exports were €2.03 billion, 1.7% of Spain’s extra-EU exports (Eurostat). Canada-Spain bilateral goods trade (imports + exports) grew by €950 million, or 33.8%, between 2016 and 2019 (Statistics Canada).


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Eschbach, A. The Ratification Process in EU Member States – A presentation with particular consideration of the TTIP and CETA free trade agreements. Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. Link
Bilaterals. (June 2017). “Spain ratifies Canada-EU trade deal after opposition backs away”. Link.
Corporate Europe Observatory. (November 2016). European and Canadian civil society groups call for rejection of CETA. Link
Martin, L. (November 2018). “What is CETA and what can Spain expect from this agreement?”. BBVA. Link.
Navascues, M. (June 2017). “The disappearance of Spain’s PSOE Party (June 2017).” The Corner. Link.
The Corner. (July 2017). “Spain is a pioneer investor in Canada; Ratifies CETA this week”. Link.

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