2012/04/11 - Europe-wide action against ACTA on 9th June 2012

Saturday the 9th of June 2012 will be an Europe-wide protest day against ACTA [1]. While the European Commission is desperately trying to extend the deadline for the vote on ACTA, the event aims to remind the members of Parliament the importance of the mobilization against this trade agreement.

English video : http://youtu.be/dAl6Ef90GBc
Videos: https://youtube.com/user/stopactaeurope

The European Commission has finally released the details of its referral on ACTA to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In a press release [2], Commissioner De Gucht calls on MEPs not to vote until the Court renders its decision. This would suspend the procedure indefinitely.

It took several weeks for the Commission to come up with its question although it is composed of only about two dozen words and knowing that its object could not have been other than the evaluation of the compatibility of the agreement with the treaties [3]. The question to be asked is therefore no surprise:

“Is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) compatible with the European Treaties, in particular with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?" 

Given the fact that there are several important events on ACTA in the European Parliament this week [4], the European Commission seems to have chosen a good moment for the publication of its question. However, the referral will not be the answer to all concerns regarding ACTA, since it can legally only address compatibility with the EU Treaties. The Court of Justice will not be able to neither address the relevance or value of such policies nor the compatibility of ACTA with the full body of EU law. No comment will be made ??on the relevance of such a treaty in the current context of copyright; no assessment will be made on the effectiveness of measures promoted by ACTA and their impact on fundamental rights and freedoms. The Court will decide on the sole issue raised by the Commission.

At this stage of the procedure, the referral has no other interest than to delay the deadline of the vote as the current political climate, would undoubtedly result in a strong rejection of the agreement.

In this context, it is essential that Members of the European Parliament show political courage and ensure the independence of their institution in the decision making processes in the European Union - in particular with regard to the European Commission. It is crucial that Parliament retains its role, not only regarding ACTA, but also in the future, for all legal instruments that are related to our fundamental rights and freedoms.

Since the main commission responsible in the European Parliament for ACTA has opposed to a seperate ECJ referral, it is likely that the Parliament will stick to the current agenda and put ACTA to vote in June / July.

This protest will be an occasion for citizens to show their opposition to ACTA and speak up for their rights and freedoms, hoping it will show their representatives how they feel about the Agreement, and how urgent it is to boldly dismiss it without further delay. 

Let's tell the Parliament to support European citizens and itself!

The video isn't available in your language ? Feel free to contribute : https://pad.lqdn.fr/p/acta-vid-template

[1] https://maps.google.de/maps/ms?msid=207675571771832641687.0004bc7b352a3608fca1a&msa=0
[2] http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=795
[3] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:12008e218:fr:HTML
[4] European Parliament events on 
       11 April http://webcasts.barouhandpartners.com/marietje_schaake/a_stakeholder_hearing_about_acta and 
       12 April: http://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/gpes/media3/cards/acta/acta.htm