By EDRi

Following the criticism she received regarding her recent PC Inpact interview, Marielle Gallo published a letter on her website. As we published our translation of the interview, we felt it was fair to also publish her defence. We have included some notes and clarifications in the translation.

“Many of you replied to the interview in PC Inpact and I thank you for this. I would like now to publish the message that I sent in reply to several of you.

Since the beginning of my mandate in 2009 (note 1), I have devoted my time to studying the text of ACTA 2 (footnote from the original text). I met many stakeholders. I listened to everybody’s arguments. Legal opinions have been presented have been prepared by the competent services. This long study of the dossier convinced me that ACTA is compatible with European legislation. The Belgian courts similarly felt that the injunctions demanded by Sabam in the Scarlet/Sabam case did not breach EU law in any obvious way. The European Court subsequently ruled that it was a breach of freedom of communication, privacy and freedom to conduct business.

Subsequently, I accepted numerous interviews, I participated in several public debates, including the one at the “Science Po” in Paris, with the Pirate Party MEP Amelia Andersdottir and the Quadrature du Net. I also, with complete transparency, published my position and its justification on my website.

I am still meeting and listening to people who are interested in ACTA. I am also still defending intellectual property because it has been shown to be a strong pillar for economic growth. It is a question of protecting existing jobs and creating new ones, thanks to the Internet (note 3), which is a great opportunity.

None of the legislative proposals of the European Commission and no Member State would tolerate a text that could threaten citizens (note 4). Some doubted this. They were listened to because ACTA was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union and it will provide an independent ruling. (note 5).

However this debate ends, we should be happy that this discussion took place in public and on line. Please believe that I remain open to your opinions and accept also that I have my own. (note 6)

Yours

Marielle Gallo”

1 This is very impressive, as the text was not finished until the end of 2010!(back)

2. Two opinions of the legal service of the Parliament of 5 October 2011 and 8 December 2011 accept the compatibility of ACTA with Union law.
EDRi note: However, in keeping with the remarkable lack of transparency in ACTA, one of these texts has been kept secret by the European Parliament. The public one pointedly does not say that ACTA is compatible with Union law, they say that, on the surface (“prima facie”) there is no obvious breach. (back)

3 This is slightly odd, seeing as how a. there is no reason to believe that ACTA would create any online jobs and b. she argued in the PC Inpact interview that the digital environment was only a very minor part of ACTA. (back)

4 The facts, unfortunately, tell a different story – as the European Court of Human Rights rulings against France and other EU member states in recent years illustrate only too clearly.

5 The European Parliament has a political decision to take – are the measures proposed in ACTA suitable and acceptable for the European Union? If five Committees of the European Parliament already believe they are not, if the European Data Protection Supervisor thinks they are not, if the European Economic and Social Committee thinks that they are not, if the fears generated for citizens’ freedoms are such that the OSCE felt compelled to write to the President of the European Parliament, the message is clear. It is a bad proposal and waiting for the European Court to decide whether or not it is obviously illegal is a waste of time and resources. (back)

6 Why, then, does she not accept that other Parliamentarians have their opinion? Why is her political group trying to prevent a vote next week? (back)