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This interview was translated and republished with the kind permission of PCinpact. We have added our comments on some of the misinformation in Ms Gallo's statements. See notes 1-6 at the end of the article.
Marielle Gallo, who is a member of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels, proposed a draft Opinion that was in favour of ACTA.
For the past few months, the European Commission and industry lobbyists have tried to pressure the European Parliament into abdicating responsibility for ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Instead, the Parliament has given the proposal an inordinate amount of attention, with five different committees devoting huge amounts of time and resources to the proposal. Five different committees looked at the proposal from a development, industry, civil liberties, legal and international trade perspective.
One by one, each of the Committees analysed ACTA, with an ever-dwindling degree of support for the proposal.
Dear Mr Fjellner,
I am writing to you with regard to your recent blog post on ACTA.
First of all thank you for providing a clarification after you tabled an amendment for the International Trade Committee vote next week calling for ACTA to be ratified. We are heartened to read that you believe that it would be irresponsible to take a definitive position on ACTA in the absence of assurances from the Commission. You further explain that clarifications are needed on “one or two” paragraphs.
Getting rid of the copyright’s aspect in ACTA as Mrs Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (German Federal minister of justice) suggested would fail to solve ACTA’s inherent problems.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of issues that will not be solved by political sleight of hand.
A fair balance between protecting intellectual property rights and preserving fundamental rights would still not be achieved. As confirmed by the European Economic and Social Committee, ACTA's approach is aimed at further strengthening the position of rights holders vis-à-vis the "public".
For decades, committed pro-European politicians and academics have wished for a number of ingredients that would be necessary for the credibility of the European institutional framework. They wanted an effective, representative and democratic European Parliament. They wanted a European Parliament that was not just theoretically an equal player in the institutional framework in Brussels, but a Parliament that was a genuine counterweight to the Council (the Member States) and the European Commission. Finally, and most difficult to create, pro-European thinkers dreamed of the possibility of pan-European political campaigns driven by pan-European political movements.
After all of the announcements of ACTA's death, one would wonder why anybody would have felt the need to turn up to the anti-ACTA demonstrations today. In April, the European Parliamentarian in charge of the ACTA dossier said that ACTA was dead. In May, the European Commissioner for the Information Society, Neelie Kroes, said that ACTA was dead. Now, in June, four different European Parliament Committees rejected ACTA. Was tumbleweed going to be the only participant at the ACTA demonstrations?