LIBE, the European Parliament Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, has now voted to recommend the rejection of ACTA. This follows the votes in the ITRE and JURI committees this morning, that also recommend saying no to the ACTA agreement.
The LIBE opinion concludes that ACTA ”is incompatible with the rights enshrined in the Charter” [for Fundamental Rights], and recommends rejection.
The majority in LIBE was substantial: 36 votes in favour of the opinion, 1 vote against, and 21 abstentions. The many abstentions are due to the fact the big conservative group EPP decided to abstain.
Today’s votes are of course very positive. We now have political momentum in the European Parliament for a rejection of the treaty.
But it is far to early to open any champagne bottles. The votes in the three committees today are very good news, but they are not decisive in themselves. The final decision will be taken by the vote in plenary, which is (currently) scheduled for the beginning of July.
Before that, the Committee for Development (DEVE) will be voting on its opinion next week on June 4, and the Petitions Committee (PETI) will have a hearing on ACTA on June 19. The Committee for International Trade (INTA), which is the lead committee on the ACTA dossier, will vote on its recommendation on June 20 or 21.
It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings, and this is never more true than in EU politics.
But still, today is a good day for all of us who want to keep the free and open internet.