The European Parliament trade committee today voted in favour of a report recommending that the EP reject the controversial ACTA anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (1). The Greens welcomed the outcome of the vote, with Swedish MEP Amelia Andersdotter stating:
"The writing is now on the wall for ACTA after today's vote. With the lead trade committee having voted to recommend the EP withhold its consent for this controversial agreement, it is now up to plenary session to finish off ACTA. We hope the plenary vote will take place before the summer, so we can finally draw a line under the ACTA saga and end the ratification process.
"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.
"There can be no sweeping, once-size-fits-all approach to intellectual property enforcement. 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) Following this vote in the lead trade committee (19 votes in favour of rejection, 12 against), the European Parliament will now vote in its plenary session on a report recommending that the EU withhold its consent, which would - in effect - prevent ACTA from being ratified.