Bill could ‘jeopardize citizens’ liberties’
By ECM Plus staff
ECM Plus +++ The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been rejected by the European Parliament on Wednesday and henceforth cannot become ‘law’ in the Euripean Union superstate.
According to the EU, this was the first time that the European Parliament had exercised its Lisbon Treaty ‘power’ to reject an international trade agreement.
According to the EU, 478 members of their parliamnet dumped ACTA, while 39 actually voted in favour of it. 165 abstained.
“I am very pleased that Parliament has followed my recommendation to reject ACTA” commented David Martin (S&D, UK), after the vote, reiterating his concerns that the treaty was ‘too vague’ and ‘open to misinterpretation’ and that it could therefore ‘jeopardise citizens’ liberties’.
Martin said the need to find alternative ways to protect intellectual property in the European Union was the ‘raw material’ of the EU economy.
The EPP’s key ACTA advocate, Christofer Fjellner (EPP, SE), asked, before the vote, that the European parliament should delay its final vote until the European Court of Justice had ruled on whether ACTA was compatible with the EU treaties.
However, when a majority of MEPs rejected this request, a ‘substantial minority’ responded by abstaining in the vote on the parliament’s consent.
The parliament witnessed unprecedented dissent by thousands of citizens who called on it to reject ACTA, in street demonstrations, e-mails to MEPs and calls to their offices.
Parliament also received a petition, signed by 2.8 million citizens worldwide, urging it to reject ACTA.