Thursday, 12 April 2012 12:50
On 9 June, there will be another day of action which will give protesters the opportunity to gather across Europe to voice their opposition to the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Civil society protests erupted in February 2012 to express concerns regarding ACTA's impact on fundamental rights and encouragement for Internet surveillance. They added their voices to the numerous papers, opinions and studies criticising ACTA from academics, politicians and NGOs, such as the OSCE, the Sakharov Laureates, the EDPS, Amnesty International and the EU Economic & Social Committee.
The European Commission has now published an update on its process of referring ACTA to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In a press release, Commissioner De Gucht urged the Parliamentarians to delay their vote. The question which will be asked is: “Is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) compatible with the European Treaties, in particular with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?"
The referral will not be the answer to all concerns regarding ACTA, since it can legally only address compatibility with the EU Treaties and neither the wisdom and value of such policies nor the compatibility of ACTA with the full body of EU law.
Worse still, the referral to the Court is being used by the European Commission as a way of bullying the Parliament into postponing its vote – an approach which is being facilitated by the pro-ACTA faction within the Parliament. Stand by for numerous delays due to translations, printing, avalanches...
In this context, it is therefore crucial that the European Parliament shows courage to stand up for its democratic role in the decision-making process and does not give in to the Commission's schemes to prevent the Parliament from rejecting the Agreement. Not just for ACTA but for every upcoming piece of legislation of importance for fundamental rights and democracy, European citizens must support the Parliament in standing up for both the rights of citizens and its own institutional role.
Since the decision of the International Trade Committee (INTA) of the European Parliament not to file a separate request to the Court, it has now become very possible that the Parliament puts the controversial Agreement straight to a vote in June or July – “unexpected” delays notwithstanding.
Tell the Parliament to support European citizens and itself!
Source: EDRI-gram "9 June 2012 – European Action Day Against ACTA" Number 10.7, April 11, 2012