Karel De Gucht

Karel De Gucht, EU Commissioner for Trade

TAFTA: Down with Anti-Democratic US-EU Negotiations!

Paris, 11 November 2013 — While the second negotiation round of the US-EU Trade Agreement, TAFTA (also known as TTIP), has just started, La Quadrature du Net issues a solemn warning to all negotiators against the risk of elaborating policies that would impact hundreds of millions of citizens without any form of democratic legitimacy. La Quadrature du Net calls on citizens to participate to its effort to expose the TAFTA negotiators and their eventual conflicts of interests, while urging individuals with access to negotiation documents to leak them to the public without delay.

Will The Canada-EU Trade Agreement Harm Our Freedoms Online?

Paris, 21 October 2013 — After more than four years of secret negotiations, the text of the Canada-Europe trade agreement, CETA, reached agreement in principle during a meeting between José Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Stefen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister. While waiting for evidence to ensure that CETA does not contain measures endangering our freedoms online, citizens and MEPs should be ready to reject this trade agreement.

Trans-Atlantic Trade Talks Bound to Harm Freedoms Online

Paris, 8 July 2013 — Today begins in Washington DC the first round of negotiations of the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, TAFTA (also known as TTIP1), amid concerns about the legitimacy of negotiating such a text under espionage by the US government. La Quadrature du Net publishes a leaked document [pdf] [text] showing that the EU is already preparing to attack citizens' freedoms online, turning TAFTA into a “super-ACTA”. La Quadrature calls on citizens to mobilize and calls negotiators to communicate TAFTA texts to the public as soon as they enter in their possession.

  • 1. TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is an attempt to rename TAFTA in a positive-sounding manner, "partnership", while avoiding to be too pronounceable or to sound too similar in pronunciation as "ACTA"

TAFTA: Illegitimate EU-US Agreement Will Begin Under Total US Surveillance

Paris, 4 July 2013 — Today, exactly one year after the final rejection of ACTA, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in strong reaction to the massive spying by the USA. Our representatives have failed to demand that the upcoming secret negotiations of trans-atlantic trade agreement be frozen. In a context where EU officials are being spied upon by US counterparts, this upcoming “super-ACTA” will be born with very little legitimacy.

TAFTA: First Step Towards a Super-ACTA

Paris, 23 May 2013 — In a plenary vote, the European Parliament just adopted a mandate to the European Commission explicitly allowing it to “include strong protection of intellectual property rights (IPR)” in the proposed EU-US trade agreement negociations, the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also know as “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP).

European Parliament to Vote Green Light to Next ACTA?

Paris, 17 May 2013 — On 22 May, the European Parliament will vote in plenary on a resolution on the proposed EU-US trade agreement, the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also know as “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). After the ACTA, SOPA and PIPA battles, once again the entertainment industry will try to use a trade agreement as an opportunity to impose online repression. With Wednesday's vote, Members of the European Parliament may be about to vote in favor of the same kind of repressive copyright enforcement provisions that they rejected in ACTA a few months ago.

EU Parliament Opens The Door to Copyright Repression in TAFTA

Paris, 25 April 2013 — Today, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the proposed EU-US trade agreement – the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also touted as the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). The Parliament unfortunately decided to ignore the calls of civil society groups to keep “IP out of TAFTA”.

Will the EU Parliament Let TAFTA Turn Into Another ACTA?

Paris, 24 April 2013 — On 25 April next, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the European Parliament will vote on a draft resolution on the proposed EU-US trade agreement, the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also touted as the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). After the ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and CETA fights, once again the negotiators of this new trade agreement try to use it as an opportunity to impose online repression. With Thursday's vote, Members of the European Parliament can and must remove “intellectual property” provisions from the negotiations, and avoid an undemocratic trade agreement that will inflict the worst of both regimes’ rules on the other party. Instead, the current version of the resolution that will be put to vote on Thursday proposes to “include strong protection of intellectual property rights (IPR)” in TAFTA.

No Copyright in EU-US Trade Agreement!

IP out of TAFTA

Civil Society Declaration released by 47 European and International organisations, to exclude from the upcoming Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) any provisions related to patents, copyright, trademarks, data protection, geographical indications, or other forms of so-called “intellectual property”.

ACTA, CETA, TAFTA: Is De Gucht Again Trying to Impose Anti-democratic Repression?

Paris, 7 February 2013 – Commissioner De Gucht is currently in Canada, trying to conclude CETA, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement. Meanwhile, he has started negotiating with the US on TAFTA, a new US-EU "trade agreement". La Quadrature du Net recalls that there is still no credible evidence to suggest that ACTA-like criminal sanctions and repressive copyright provisions damaging a free Internet were removed from CETA, and it is likely that they will appear in TAFTA. Karel De Gucht, who several times lied openly to the public and the European Parliament during the ACTA debate, might once again push for repressive measures undermining fundamental freedoms, under the cover of trade agreements. Citizens must remain watchful and denounce this growing trend.

CETA: We are not Reassured

Paris, 21 November 2012 – While the Canadian Minister of trade is in Brussels this week to finalize CETA, and as Ministers just answered to the letter sent to the French government by La Quadrature du Net, still no evidence confirm that repressive measures were removed from the current text.

ACTA, CETA, etc. Stop Denying Democracy!

In 2011 and 2012, European citizens took to the streets to protest against secret negotiations of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that threatened their fundamental freedoms. This led to a massive rejection of the agreement in the European Parliament in last July. The message was clear: no repressive measures without a democratic debate by our elected representatives.

Confirmed ACTA-like Outrageous Criminal Sanctions in CETA!

Brussels, 10 October 2012 – The EU Commission has confirmed that ACTA-like criminal sanctions are currently present in CETA, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement. This attempt by the EU executive to impose repression of online communications through the backdoor is unacceptable. La Quadrature du Net calls on EU citizens to demand their governments remove copyright provisions from CETA during the upcoming round of negotiations1; failing to do so, the final text would have to be opposed as a whole.

  • 1. This coming October 15th to October 26th in Brussels.

MEPs must be ready to reject an ACTA-like Canada/EU Trade Agreement

Paris, October 2nd 2012 – Ahead of the next round of negotiations of CETA, the Canada/EU Trade Agreement1, La Quadrature du Net publishes its dedicated web-dossier. The citizen organization urges the Members of the European Parliament to demand full transparency and be ready to reject CETA as they did with ACTA, if any of the anti-Internet, anti-citizens' freedoms provisions remain in the final agreement.

  • 1. This coming October 15th to October 26th in Brussels.

CETA, the Zombie ACTA, Must Face the Same Fate

Paris, July 10th 2012 - A leaked version of the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) contains the worst parts of ACTA. The EU Commission appears to be once again trying to bypass the democratic process in order to impose ruthless repression online. Commissioner De Gucht cannot ignore the decision of the EU Parliament on ACTA. CETA must be cancelled altogether (or its repressive ACTA parts must be scrapped), or face the same fate as ACTA in the Parliament.

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