ACTA: Last Crucial Step Before Final Vote
Paris, June 14th – On June 21st, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the EU Parliament will vote on whether to adopt its report on ACTA, which will mark the last procedural step before the Parliament's final vote. Despite the fact that four committees recently voted against ACTA, heavy pressure from the pro-ACTA lobbies and the EU Commission might weigh on the INTA report. Citizens must mobilize to ensure that INTA Members recommend ACTA's rejection, as this result will be decisive for the upcoming final vote of the EU Parliament, scheduled for the beginning of July (vote in plenary 3, 4 or 5th of July1).
Four committees recently adopted opinion reports on ACTA, recommending the main committee, INTA, to call on the whole Parliament to reject ACTA. INTA, in turn, is due to vote on its report during a meeting next week, on June 21st. The outcome of the vote on the final INTA report is the last crucial step before the final vote by the whole Parliament, scheduled for early July.
Currently, the draft report by David Martin (UK, S&D) recommends ACTA's rejection. However, the pro-ACTA conservatives (EPP, led by Swedish Christopher Fjellner), and some of their allies (British conservatives of the ECR led by Syed Kamall) will attempt to amend the recommendation2. They are strongly supported by industry lobbies3 and the EU Commission, who wish to either turn the INTA report into a call for adopting ACTA, or at least delay the final vote.
Citizens must mobilize and get in touch with members of the INTA committee. They should especially be watchful of the following:
- All socio-democrat (S&D) members must stick to their group position of voting for the rejection of ACTA.
- All members of the ALDE group (liberals) should also vote according to their group position, which is to reject of ACTA.
- As many conservative (EPP) members as possible must follow their Polish colleagues' lead to either recommend rejection or at least abstain.
- British conservatives (ECR), usually critical of EU institutions, should not blindly follow the EU Commission in its attempts to mislead the Parliament into postponing the final vote on ACTA.
“We're in the last hundred meters of the ACTA marathon, and must hold on, eyes on the prize. We should be especially careful not to consider that the job is done and that we have already won, as everything can change in a blink. Our opponents have already used last-minute tricks during previous committee votes4, and we can expect this to continue. It is crucial that we remain mobilized to secure our chance to finally kill ACTA in plenary and open the way for a positive reform of copyright.” said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
Conference of Presidents will decide on the exact date a week before.
- 2. See the amendments tabled on the INTA report: http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/INTA_ACTA_report_amendments
- 3. Industry lobbies have put together a website in support of ACTA and are sending many letters to MEPs. See http://www.actafacts.com/
- 4. See https://twitter.com/jerezim/status/208117745471074304