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).
Remaining deaf to the calls of civil society and academics, the Members of the European Parliament chose to run the risk that this new trade agreement will include the same kind of repressive measures they voted down last year by rejecting ACTA. Every amendment requesting more transparency for the process got rejected. From now on and in each round of negotiations until the final text, citizens must remain vigilant and keep the EU Commission and other negotiators accountable, to obtain draft texts, and to call on their elected representatives to be consistent with their vote against ACTA, determined to oppose any repressive copyright enforcement provisions.
“MEPs gave the go to the inclusion in TAFTA of copyright and patent enforcement provisions, against the demands of European and international organisations. This decision is the first step to a new trade agreement which could hurt our fundamental freedoms and a free Internet in the name of protecting the interests of the entertainment industry. From a democratic perspective, it is essential for all forthcoming negotiations to be transparent and respectful of fundamental rights that we, citizens, play a role in the process.” declares Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the citizen organisation La Quadrature du Net.
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