I have just signed a parliamentary resolution on ACTA. The resolution was tabled officially a couple of minutes ago. It will be discussed in plenary this evening (some time between 21.00 and 24.00), and voted in plenary tomorrow Wednesday.
Here is the full text of the Common Resolution on ACTA.
This is a joint resolution by all the party groups in the European Parliament (except the small EFD group, which was not asked).
I was present at the meeting yesterday evening when we finalized the wording of the resolution, and this is the text we agreed on. The formal decision on how to vote is of course up to the individual members of parliament, so we should not start celebrating before the vote has actually taken place on Wednesday. But right now it looks very promising indeed.
It is a very strong resolution that leaves no room for doubt that the European Parliament demands that the Council and the Commission put all papers on the table immediately.
The first six paragraphs say that the European Parliament
1. Reminds that the Commission has since the 1 December 2009 the legal obligation to immediately and fully inform the European Parliament at all stages of international negotiations;
2. Expresses its concern over the lack of a transparent process in the conduct of the ACTA negotiations which contradicts the letter and the spirit of the TFEU; is deeply concerned that no legal base has been established before the start of the ACTA negotiations and that no parliamentary approval has been asked for the mandate;
3. Calls on the Commission and Council to grant public and parliamentary access to ACTA negotiation texts and summaries in accordance with the Treaty and the Regulation 1049/2001 on Public Access to Documents;
4. Calls on the Commission and Council to pro-actively engage with ACTA partners to rule out any further negotiations of an a piori confidential nature and to timely and entirely inform Parliament about its initiatives in this regard; expects the Commission to make proposals already prior to the next negotiation round in New Zealand in April 2010 and to demand that the issue of transparency is put on the agenda of that meeting, and to refer to Parliament the outcome of this round immediately after its conclusion;
5. Stresses that, unless the Parliament is immediately and fully informed at all stages of the negotiations, Parliament reserves its right to take suitable action, including bringing a case before the Court of Justice in order to safeguard its prerogatives;
6. Calls on the Commission to conduct an impact assessment of ACTA’s implementation on fundamental rights and data protection, on the ongoing EU efforts to harmonise IPR enforcement measures, and on E-Commerce, prior to any EU agreement to a consolidated ACTA treaty text, and to timely consult with Parliament about the results of this assessment;
After that, the resolution also goes into the content of the ACTA agreement as such. The resolution says no to three-strikes Hadopi-type legislation, and no to searches of laptops, cell phones and other digital devices at the borders by customs officers.
If there is to be an ACTA agreement, the parliament wants it to be about combating goods counterfeiting (i.e.: fake Rolexes and hand bags, fake Viagra on the net, fake cigarettes that are even more harmful that proper ones etc.). It should not be about restricting our fundamental civil liberties on the net.
It is not over until the fat lady sings, and the vote is not until Wednesday.
But today is a day when it feels good to be a Pirate in the European Parliament.
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