The secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement pushed by the US is probably dead in Europe, says EurActiv. This is good news for all those who believe in open and honest government.
The liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament jumped onto the bandwagon to oppose the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) by declaring yesterday (25 April) that they will vote against it, as “too many provisions” were “unclear”. In case a plenary vote was held before the summer, a majority of MEPs would therefore reject ACTA.
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament announced yesterday at a press conference that they cannot support ACTA. Although the European liberals supported the protection of intellectual property rights, they were concerned that ACTA contravened fundamental rights and freedoms, explained their leader Guy Verhofstadt.
“Civil society has been extremely vocal in recent months in raising their legitimate concerns on the ACTA agreement which we share. There are too many provisions lacking clarity and certainty as to the way they would be implemented in practice,” he said.
The liberals also appear to indicate that they want another agreement to be negotiated instead of ACTA, as they believe the present text “wrongly” brings together under the same umbrella physical goods and digital services.
“We believe they should be approached in separate sectoral agreements, and following a comprehensive and democratically debated mandate and impact assessment,” Verhofstadt said.