The Parliament played a crucial role in deciding the fate the of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which proved to be controversial from the start. On 4 July 2012, 478 MEPs voted against ACTA, 39 in favour, and 165 abstained, meaning the agreement will not enter into force in the EU.
Although most MEPs rejected ACTA on Wednesday 4 July, some of them believed it would have been better to postpone the vote. The Commission asked the European Court of Justice in May to check the agreement does not violate European legislation. Some MEPs argued it would be better to wait for the Court's ruling, while others said there was no need as they felt there were already sufficient grounds for a rejection. We asked two MEPs about their position on ACTA.
The controversial ACTA agreement was rejected by the Parliament on 4 July, meaning it will not enter into force in the EU. British Labour MEP David Martin, who was responsible for steering the text through Parliament, asked MEPs to turn it down in his recommendation. We spoke to him before the vote took place about ACTA, lessons to be learnt and possible next steps.
Pirated and counterfeit products cost European businesses €250 billion a year and some pose a risk to health and safety. One way to protect EU markets and consumers is to prevent them from entering the EU and customs authorities are best placed to do that. On Monday 2 July MEPs discussed a report by German Liberal Jürgen Creutzmann on how to strengthen customs enforcement of intellectual property rights.
To what extent do European citizens enjoy the benefits of a digital society and economy, what role does the EU play and what will come next? Citizens, MEPs, researchers and representatives from EU institutions and the industry will address these questions on Thursday and Friday 21-22 June during the Digital Agenda Assembly , organised by the Parliament and the Commission. The Digital Agenda is the EU's roadmap for a digital society and economy.
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA has left few people indifferent. Over the last few months the EP has received numerous petitions - including one signed by nearly three million people - asking MEPs to vote against the controversial agreement. The EP's petitions committee discussed the issue with petitioners on Tuesday 19 June. The international trade committee will vote 21 June on whether to recommend rejection to MEPs.
Energy not only fuels anything from cars to fridges, but it is also what keeps our economy moving. However, if the EU is to have reliable energy supplies at affordable prices, member states must agree on a common approach with external energy suppliers, warns Hungarian Social-Democrat Edit Herczog. She spoke to us ahead of a plenary vote on 12 June that approved her report setting out a strategy for EU energy cooperation with third countries.
Cyberwarfare has transformed from a science fiction staple to a real-life threat. On 12 June MEPs approved plans to better protect Europe's critical information infrastructure from malicious cyber attacks. In the report Bulgarian Social-Democrat Ivailo Kalfin examines the challenges to Europe's cyber security and how to overcome them. In the near future MEPs will also look at cybercrime, data protection and how to keep children safe online.
The controversial ACTA agreement has entered the critical final stage after three parliamentary committees voted on their recommendation on 31 May. The legal affairs committee voted against a draft opinion recommending approval, while the industry committee and the civil liberties committees approved reports recommending rejection. On 4 June the development committee also voted in favour of rejecting ACTA. We take a look at the last remaining steps.
Don't miss your chance to discuss the controversial ACTA agreement with European Parliament president Martin Schulz during a chat on Facebook on 26 April from 1430 CET. The EP will soon be voting on an agreement defenders insist will help fight counterfeit goods and protect intellectual property but critics fear will violate civil liberties and curb internet freedoms. Are you for or against? Have your say during the Facebook chat on Thursday.