Demand Swift Rejection of ACTA
Paris, March 19th, 2012 - Crucial discussions going on in the EU Parliament will determine the fate of ACTA. Whereas the rapporteur David Martin is siding with the EU Commission in attempting to defuse the debate and postpone the final vote on ACTA, other members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) insist on voting in the coming months, as originally planned. By urging for a swift rejection of ACTA ahead of next week's meetings in the Parliament, EU citizens have a decisive role to play.
Since early March, the British rapporteur for ACTA, David Martin, has been pushing the EU Commission’s strategy: delaying the final vote of the EU Parliament on ACTA to avoid its rejection. While the Commission's referral of ACTA to the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) is about to be finalized1, Mr. Martin wants the Parliament to make its own but similar referral, which would delay the EU Parliament's final vote for one or two years.
Similarly, David Martin is proposing to replace the Parliament's report - which would guide the vote - by a useless "interim report", in order to avoid taking any strong political position and recommending a vote against ACTA2.
MEPs must reject these cheap political tricks and instead work toward a strong, politically binding report, and toward the rejection of ACTA. David Martin's position has already been strongly opposed by its own political group, the Socialists & Democrats (S&D)3. However, other groups remain undecided and need to be convinced of the need for the EU Parliament to continue its proceedings on ACTA, so as to hold a vote according to the original timetable.
Urge the EU Parliament to vote soon on ACTA!
The decision regarding the fate of the ACTA procedure will be taken early next week during meetings of the International Trade (INTA) committee, who is leading the Parliament's works on ACTA. Citizens can play a decisive role to play, as they have in the past, by making their voice heard.
Urge your MEPs to take into account the numerous political problems raised by ACTA, and work toward the swift rejection of this dangerous agreement.
A phone campaigning tool is available for that purpose, to help you call Members of the Parliament, free of charge, and direct you to useful sources of information.
- 1. According to Commissioner Karel De Gucht, in charge of ACTA, the Commission's legal services will finalize the question asked to the ECJ in the coming days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQMkUW2dZ7I
- 2. An interim report is equivalent to a non-binding resolution. See rule 81(3) of the the EU Parliament rules of procedure: “Where Parliament's consent is required for a proposed legislative act or an envisaged international agreement, the committee responsible may decide, in the interests of achieving a positive outcome of the procedure, to present an interim report on the proposal to Parliament including a motion for a resolution containing recommendations for modification or implementation of the proposed act”. Source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+RULES-EP+20120110+RULE-081+DOC+XML+V0//EN&navigationBar=YES
- 3. Indeed, during a group meeting last week, the S&D rejected by 59 against and 37 for a referral of ACTA to the ECJ.