Three European Parliament committees today adopted opinion reports on the controversial ACTA anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (1). The Greens welcomed the outcome of the votes on the different opinion reports recommending that the EP reject ACTA. Greens/EFA MEP and draftsperson for the industry committee on ACTA Amelia Andersdotter stated:
"The EP has today delivered further blows to ACTA with a number of committees voting to recommend rejection. After today's pummelling, the lead trade committee is set to deliver its verdict in June. Given the weight of public and political opposition to this problematic agreement, we hope that the EP will be able to finish off ACTA before the summer, with a final plenary vote against granting consent to the ratification.
"In addition to concerns about data protection and internet freedom, there are concerns about the potentially far-reaching implications of ACTA on fundamental rights, freedom of establishment and access to vital medicines. At EU-level, ACTA would block the much-needed reform of EU copyright law and instead lead to a heavy-handed and repressive enforcement of copyright with no regard to either the basic rights of citizens or the needs of European digital entrepreneurs.
"Intellectual property enforcement cannot entail a sweeping approach, instead there is a need to assess the different challenges facing different economic sectors and different aspects of intellectual property and develop individual solutions for these sectors."
(1) The industry, legal affairs and civil liberties committees of the European Parliament all adopted their opinion reports on ACTA, recommending the EP withhold its consent. The lead EP trade committee will vote on its report on 21 June. This will then be referred to the plenary of the European Parliament for a final vote on whether or not to give consent to the agreement.