Brussels, March 27th 2012 – The EU Parliament refused to freeze the ACTA debate, and will not refer the agreement to the EU Court of Justice. In a 21 to 5 vote plus 2 abstentions, the Parliament decided to stick to its calendar and will vote on ACTA in June, as originally planned. The Commission’s technocratic manoeuvres have not stopped the Parliament, and the door remains open to a swift rejection of ACTA.
After an eventful process where a minority of pro-ACTA MEPs used procedural arguments to delay a decision, the EU Parliament’s “International Trade” committee refused to refer ACTA to the EU Court of Justice. Such a referral would have delayed for 18 months the final vote on ACTA.
Respecting the original timetable, the rapporteur David Martin (S&D, UK) will now present a draft report to his colleagues on April 25th, 2012. This draft report will form the basis of the INTA committee’s final recommendation to the rest of the Parliament on whether to consent to ACTA or to reject it.
The INTA committee, as well as the other committees working on opinion reports, will also resume their works on this illegitimate agreement.
“This vote is the first real test for the balance of views in the EU Parliament since the global anti-ACTA citizen movement took off. It demonstrates a growing understanding of ACTA’s issues by a wide range of MEPs, and an ability to avoid the procedural traps set up by the EU Commission and some pro-ACTA MEPs. It is promising step, but only the final rejection of ACTA will settle the issue.” declares Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
“The Commission and the rapporteur’s tricks have been avoided, and the Parliament can now proceed with its works on ACTA. MEPs will have to shed the light on the democratic and political issues raised by ACTA, such as the extra-judicial measures aimed at stepping up the repression of online sharing.”, said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of La Quadrature du Net.