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04-07-2012

European Parliament rejects ACTA

EP President Martin Schulz said "The vote against ACTA was not one against the protection of intellectual property. On the contrary - the European Parliament staunchly supports the fight against piracy and counterfeiting, which harm European companies and pose a threat to consumer health and European jobs.

The debate on ACTA demonstrated the existence of European public opinion that transcends national borders."

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), was rejected by the European Parliament on Wednesday, and hence cannot become law in the EU. This was the first time that Parliament exercised its Lisbon Treaty power to reject an international trade agreement. 478 MEPs voted against ACTA, 39 in favour, and 165 abstained.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz made the following statement after the vote by the European Parliament to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA):

"The decision to reject ACTA was not taken lightly. It followed an intensive, inclusive and transparent debate with civil society, business organisations, national parliaments and many other stakeholders.

The vote against ACTA was not one against the protection of intellectual property. On the contrary - the European Parliament staunchly supports the fight against piracy and counterfeiting, which harm European companies and pose a threat to consumer health and European jobs.

The majority in the European Parliament is of the opinion that ACTA is a wrong solution, a sentiment shared by millions of citizens. The majority in the European Parliament is of the opinion that  ACTA is too vague, leaving the room for abuses and raising concern about its impact on consumers' privacy and civil liberties, on innovation and the free flow of information.

ACTA was negotiated by a group of industrialised countries in a process that provoked complaints for its lack of transparency. The European Parliament tried to redress this shortcoming. It organised workshops, seminars and other meetings with representatives of civil society and all others involved in the debate. We tried to listen and learn from engaged citizens. I myself talked on several occasions with activists and in online chats.

The debate on ACTA demonstrated the existence of European public opinion that transcends national borders. All over Europe, people were engaged in protests and debates. The mobilisation of public opinion was unprecedented. As the President of the European Parliament, I am committed to dialogue with citizens and to make Europe more democratic and understandable."

Follow ACTA debate on NEWSHUB link below

NEWSHUB