Germany on Friday ratified the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Colombia and Peru, taking another step towards the transatlantic agreement’s implementation.
“We were optimistic about the vote today because Germany is a strategic partner for Colombia, and both countries will benefit from this free trade agreement (FTA),” said the Colombian Ambassador in Germany, Juan Mayr Maldonado, in a statement to EFE.
The upper house of German parliament approved the agreement shortly after it had been ratified by the lower house on March 23. Parliament voted in favor of the contract despite staunch opposition from the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Left.
A group of 45 church, human rights and development organizations also asked the upper house not to ratify the agreement amid fears that it will have a negative impact on the environment and social and human rights in Colombia.
Under normal circumstances, similar agreements only need to be negotiated in Brussels; however, certain clauses in the agreement with Colombia require individual ratification by each of the 27 EU member States. To date, it has been approved by Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia.