The latest developments on ACTA in the European Parliament

By EDRi · October 19, 2011

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Europäisches Parlament: Aktueller Stand bei ACTA |]

After long, opaque and undemocratic negotiations, the Anti-Counterfeiting
Agreement (ACTA) is making its first steps into the European Parliament.

The long process of the ratification of ACTA, which will need to overcome
the hurdles created by votes in all 27 EU national parliaments as well as in
the European Parliament, has now started.

The first step in the process at a European level, after a rubber-stamping
of the text by the Council, is that each of the European Parliament
Committees that considers it has an important perspective to add to
the process will nominate itself to provide an “opinion” on the text.

Currently, two committees – Legal Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and
Home Affairs have decided to give opinions. In the Legal Affairs Committee
(JURI), Marielle Gallo (EPP) is in charge of the dossier. On 17 October, the
Civil liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) decided
to produce an opinion, but it has not yet been decided which MEP will be in

The committee that will produce the final report to be approved by the whole
parliament (theoretically taking due account of the “opinions” of the other
committees) is the International Trade Committee (INTA), with Kader Arif
(S&D Group, France) as Rapporteur.

Having fought hard throughout its entire history for the right to have equal
decision-making power on dossiers such as this one, the Parliament now
appears almost afraid to take an independent, democratic decision. MEPs
appear worried that rejecting the decision might look childish or, more
bizarrely, rude, after all of the work that has been put into the Agreement
up until now.

Every European policy maker needs to be encouraged to consider the
implications of ACTA. For this reason, EDRi, Access and the Trans-Atlantic
Consumer Dialogue (TACD) worked together to produce a booklet, which
provides an insight into the controversial and unacceptable parts of the

The booklet outlines the lack of credibility, the threat to freedom of
expression and access to culture; the dangers threatening privacy, and the
chilling effect on innovation and the hindrance to trade that will be
created if ACTA is adopted. All members of the European Parliament received
the booklet last week.

A translation of the booklet is available in German, Polish and Czech. Other
languages (such as Romanian and French) will be added in due course and will
be included on the web version of this article and announced via Twitter.

EDRi Booklet on ACTA

Czech version

German version

Polish version

EDRi-gram: ENDitorial: Countries start signing ACTA, preparatory docs still
secret (5.10.2011)

(Contribution by Marie Humeau – EDRi)