In the historic vote yesterday, ACTA was swept away by a massive 478 members of the European Parliament voting against it. Only 39 members voted in absolute favour. 165 abstained, which had been the voting recommendation for the two Conservative groups EPP and ECR.
You can check how the various groups and individual members voted at Votewatch.eu. Here are some highlights:
- The big Conservative group EPP was profoundly divided. Only 109 members – about half the Group – followed Swedish EPP shadow rapporteur Christofer Fjellner to abstain, while 96 EPP members voted against ACTA. This includes most EPP members from the former Eastern European countries, for example all Polish members. Another 33 EPP members, in particular from France, voted in favour of ACTA, including French member Marielle Gallo.
- The small Conservative group ECR was less divided and this division was pre-announced clearly. The Polish and Lithuanian members voted against (11), the main part (including the British Tories) followed its shadow to abstain (35).
- In the Liberal group ALDE, a number of mainly German members joined EPP/ECR to abstain (12), while all others except two wild cats followed the recommendation of their shadow Niccolò Rinaldi to vote against.
- One single Social Democrat member voted in favour of ACTA. This was Vital Moreira, who is the chairman of the International Trade Committee INTA. A handful of Social Democrats abstained, but the remaining 167 Social Democrat members followed the group line and voted against.
- The Eurosceptic group EFD voted against, with the exception of a handful members.
- The Green group, where I and my fellow Pirate Amelia Andersdotter are independent members, of course voted 100% against ACTA.
- The Left group GUE also voted 100% against.
However, the ”real vote” in terms of power relations was on the vote to refer ACTA back to Committee in order to wait for the opinion from the European Court of Justice ECJ. This request was rejected by a sound 255 : 420 : 9 majority. All in all, this is the real result that we helped to obtain through our activities: we had 60 percent or around 2/3 of the House on our side.
The divisions within the groups are about the same as in the vote on the final rejection, with regard to ALDE and ECR. However, EPP had an interesting voting behaviour: around 50 EPP would have liked to refer ACTA back to Committee but – as that demand was turned turn – decided to vote against in the final vote.
On a sour note, the Commission’s representative announced after the vote that the Commission would continue to pursue the ECJ opinion, in order to discuss its results with the ACTA partners and then come back to Parliament on the issue.
This is not only bad sportsmanship, but a rather arrogant way of demonstrating the Commission’s lack of respect for the democratically elected Parliament.