Joint European Parliament ACTA Transparency Resolution Tabled, Vote on Wednesday

A joint resolution on Transparency and State of Play of ACTA negotiations from virtually all party groups in the European Parliament was tabled earlier today.  It will debated tonight and faces a vote on Wednesday.  If approved, the resolution marks a major development in the fight over ACTA transparency.  It calls for public access to negotiation texts and rules out further confidential negotiations.  Moreover, the EP wants a ban on imposing a three-strikes model, assurances that ACTA will not result in personal searchers at the border, and an ACTA impact assessment on fundamental rights and data protection.  The full resolution:

The European Parliament,
–     having regard to Articles 207 and 218 TFEU
–    having regard to its Resolution of 9 February 2010 on a "Renewed Framework Agreement between the Parliament and the Commission for the next legislative term" (B7-0091/2010)
–     having regard to its Resolution of 11 March 2009 on "Public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (recast)" to be considered as Parliaments position in First Reading  (COM(2008)0229 – C6-0184/2008 – 2008/0090(COD))
–     having regard to its Resolution of 18 December 2008 on "the impact of counterfeiting on international trade" (2008/2133(INI))
–    having regard to the Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor of 22 February 2010 on "the current negotiations by the European Union of an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)"
–    having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and in particular its Article 8,
–    having regard to Directive 2002/58/EC of European Parliament and Council concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector, as last amended by Directive 2009/136/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009
–    having regard to Directive 2000/31/EC of European Parliament and Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (Directive on Electronic Commerce)
–    having regard to Rule 110 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.    whereas in 2008 the European Union and other OECD countries opened negotiations on a new plurilateral agreement designed to strengthen the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and combat counterfeiting and piracy (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – ACTA), and jointly agreed on a confidentiality clause,

B.    whereas in its report of 11 March 2009 Parliament called on the Commission to "immediately make all documents related to the ongoing international negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) publicly available",

C.    whereas the Commission on 27 January 2010 assured its commitment to a reinforced association with Parliament in the terms of its Resolution of 9 February 2010 on a renewed Framework Agreement with the Commission, demanding "immediate and full information at every stage of negotiations on international agreements, in particular on trade matters and other negotiations involving the consent procedure, to give full effect to Article 218 TFEU",

D.    whereas Council representatives have attended ACTA negotiation rounds alongside with Commission representatives,

E.    whereas the Commission as guardian of the Treaties is obliged to uphold the acquis communitaire when negotiating international agreements affecting legislation in the EU,

F.    whereas, according to documents leaked, the ACTA negotiations touch, among others, on pending EU legislation regarding the enforcement of IPRs (COD/2005/0127, Criminal measures aimed at assuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights, (IPRED-II)) and the so-called "Telecom Package", and on existing EU legislation regarding E-Commerce and data protection,

G.    whereas the ongoing EU efforts to harmonise IPR enforcement measures should not be circumvented by trade negotiations which are outside the scope of the normal EU decision-making processes,

H.    whereas it is crucial to ensure that the development of IPR enforcement measures is accomplished in a manner that does not impede innovation or competition, undermine IPR limitations and personal data protection, restrict the free flow of information, or unduly burden legitimate trade,

I.     whereas any agreement reached by the European Union on ACTA must comply with the legal obligations imposed on the EU with respect to privacy and data protection law, as notably set forth in Directive 95/46/EC, in Directive 2002/58/EC and in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and of the Court of Justice,

J.    whereas the Treaty of Lisbon is in force since 1 December 2009,

K.    whereas as a result of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Parliament will have to give its consent to the ACTA Treaty text, prior to its entry into force in the EU,

L.    whereas the Commission committed itself to provide immediate and full information to the European Parliament at every stage of negotiations on international agreements,

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;

7.    Welcomes affirmations by the Commission that any ACTA agreement will be limited to the enforcement of existing IPRs, with no prejudice for the development of substantive IP law in the European Union;

8.    Calls on the Commission to continue the negotiations on ACTA in order to improve the effectiveness of the IPR enforcement system against counterfeiting;

9.    Urges the Commission to ensure that the enforcement of ACTA provisions – especially its provisions on copyright enforcement procedures in the digital environment – are fully in line with the acquis communitaire; demands that no personal search is undertaken at the EU borders and requests full clarification of any clauses that would allow for warrantless searches and confiscation of information storage devices, such as laptops, cell phones and MP3 players, by border and customs authorities;

10.    Considers that in order to respect fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy, with full respect for subsidiarity, the proposed Agreement must refrain from imposing any so called "three strikes" procedures, in full respect of the decision of Parliament on article 1.1b in the (amending) Directive 2009/140/EC that calls to insert a new para 3 a to article 1 Directive 2002/21/EC on the matter of  "three strikes"

11.    Emphasizes that privacy and data protection are core values of the European Union, recognised in Article 8 ECHR and Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which must be respected in all the policies and rules adopted by the EU pursuant to Article 16 of the TFEU;

12.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the Governments and Parliaments of ACTA negotiation participants.


  1. Interesting
    Well this is interesting, but will it make a difference? Will the rest of the world simply kick them out of the negotiations for not following the rules?

  2. Peter Cook says:

    If Europe—a significant part of the monied world—leaves, the treaty loses much of its power. And with those countries having taken the first step, any other country can withdraw far more easily.

  3. Could this be
    A sudden outbreak of common sense? It would be quite hilarious to see that the pirate party was behind some of it. Democracy(ish) in action!

  4. sarcastic man says:

    Could it be that so much of my sarcastic powers could be going away? Only the combined powers of ‘common sense man’ and ‘ethic’s women’ could do this to me!!…but..but…all my money that could be made by keeping them apart…And the dream of resurrecting my love ‘Police State Women’ ever so slowly!!
    If only ‘big business man’ could threaten those short haul elected officeholder’s with fears of lost jobs and election donations to help me! I want my MMMMMOOONNNNEEEEYYYYYYYYYY (and intelligence, for good, we of the stars and stripes only do these things for for good of others!)

  5. Our Army’s are big, strong, and growing

  6. Could the EU end up saving us from Harper?

  7. Good! Why should these negotiations be kept secret?

  8. Thank you!
    I for one am incredibly grateful and pleasantly surprised that the European Union has put IP enforcement into context. The idea of an international treaty on anti-counterfitting is not objectionable in and of itself. The really unacceptable aspects of the ACTA in front of us are the lack of transparency, the obvious intent to circumvent the sovereignty of the signatories, and the arbitrary subversion of civil rights for purely commercial reasons.

    Thank you Europe for bringing context and sanity. Mr. Harper: This is one bandwagon that it would be ok to jump on.

  9. Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP says:

    Please help us!
    This resolution is really big success! We negotiated very hard to get a brought majority on strong words of the parliament. Instead of just parliamentary access with restraint weg got public and parliamentary access in accordance with the treaty (which is very clear on general public access), we got a clear limit of scope on the existing aquis communitaire and a strict formulation on fundamental rights AND will get even more on the limitation of the negotations, because there will be ammendments tomorrow which will be adopted by majority or even consensus. So please, let’s take the vote tomorrow as a good start for a loud and strong struggle against this undemocratic approach. We need your help!

    This fight is far from beeing finished. So let’s start!
    Greetings from Strasbourg,

  10. It would seem a little sun shine goes a long way. If they take out all those things listed above all that will be left is the things that ACTA was actually supposed to be about before it got hijacked by the **AA lobbyists. Hats off to the Europeans.

  11. outbreak of common sense not so sudden
    Parliament tended to vote with a common sense. Unfortunately until December 2009 it had not much to say; European Commision prevailed on decisions. And EC danced as companies and lobbysts played. Now with Lisbon treaty live, EP has more to say.

  12. China..
    is not in the group of countries participating in the ACTA negotiations, and has apparently stated it’s not going to sign. Since it’s where the vast majority of counterfeiting activities take place..

  13. Approved – 663 against 13
    The resolution was approved.

  14. @Steve-O
    Well, since it was a wide agreement with all but one of the groups voting for it is hard to claim that “the pirate party was behind it”.

    But MEP Christian Engström representing Swedish Pirate party was the one negotiating on behalf of the “green group” in the European Parliament so we were definitely involved.

    This should be seen, not only as being against ACTA, it was also a way for the parliament to move forward their positions and try to seize some of the power they should have after the Lisbon-treaty.

  15. MEPs voted against the ACTA 663 to 13

    >A strong majority of MEPs (663 against and 13 in favour) today voted against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), arguing that it flouts agreed EU laws on counterfeiting and piracy online.

    Now what does OUR elected official going to say about ACTA in Canada?

  16. StompinObasans says:

    why you still havent posted anything about the passing of anti-acta resolution ?

  17. kellythedog says:

    ” Now what does OUR elected official going to say about ACTA in Canada? ”

    I’m sure the majority of elected officials dont even know what ACTA is. Mine still denies climate change is happening.

  18. KALININVadim says:

    ответ на этот пост
    недорогая аренда микроавтобуса в Киеве