EU Commission Shamelessly Persists In Trying to Delay ACTA Vote

Paris, April 5th, 2012 – The EU Commission has made public the text of its own referral of ACTA to the EU Court of Justice. This initiative comes a week after the EU Parliament voted not to refer ACTA to the Court, which would have suspended the parliamentarian procedure for at least 18 months. The Parliament is expected to vote on ACTA this summer, and must continue to resist the Commission's shameless technocratic tricks to save ACTA.

It took more than a month for the Commission to come up with its very predictable question to the Court. As expected, it is a mere rephrasing of article 218.11 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU1, which grants the Commission the power to request the Court's opinion on an international agreement.

The question reads:

Is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) compatible with the European Treaties, in particular with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?

“EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht – a stubborn proponent of ACTA who has constantly denied the crucial political issues raised by this agreement – is now entering an institutional face-off with the Parliament to save ACTA from rejection. But the Parliament has already made clear that it will face its political responsibility towards EU citizens by sticking to the original timetable and voting on ACTA without delay. As elected representatives, Members of the Parliament must protect their prerogatives and denounce the Commission's shameless technocratic manoeuvres. Beyond any doubts on its compatibility with the treaties, ACTA remains an illegitimate and dangerous plurilateral agreement, negotiated outside all democratic arenas to enforce a brutal copyright, patent and trademark regime worldwide. The Parliament already has enough elements to make a political assessment of ACTA's severe flaws and move toward a clear and definite rejection of this unacceptable text.”, said Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

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