Commission should follow Parliament's demands
Commenting on today's publication of the latest version of the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) negotiation text Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht (Germany) said:
"We appreciate the Commission's recognition of the right of the Parliament under the Lisbon Treaty to be informed and their work in persuading ACTA partners to release the draft negotiation text. We understand from Commission President Barroso's statement in the Plenary yesterday that from now on, we will receive all relevant ACTA negotiation documents.
"An initial glance at the negotiation text released today confirms our suspicion that the ACTA partners still discuss a range of topics, which in the opinion of the Parliament, should not be included in the ACTA remit. In March 2010, the European Parliament clearly and with overwhelming majority asked to limit ACTA solely to the issue of counterfeiting. We are outraged that a chapter on Internet copyright enforcement is still under negotiation."
MEP Christian Engström (Sweden), Pirate Party member of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, said:
"We are unhappy that the Council has given such a wide mandate to the Commission to discuss ACTA, a move which goes against the 18 December 2008 opinion of the European Parliament. We expect the Commission to finally provide us with the text of the ACTA mandate and immediately open the debate for its revision, since Council and Parliament apparently have different goals and visions. The Lisbon Treaty is not just about the provision of information. Parliament's opinion must also be taken into due account in the formulation of the mandate which is the basis for the Commission's negotiation position.
"We also expect the Commission to engage with us in a serious debate on how to limit ACTA to fighting counterfeiting, as requested by the Parliament in its March 2010 resolution. At the moment, ACTA only covers a small number of countries. The Commission's argument that a "coalition of the willing" can always go beyond existing international rules undermines international organisations like WTO and WIPO."