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.
ACTA aimed to more effectively enforce intellectual property rights on an international level. Many developed countries worry that their economies suffer great damage due to counterfeiting and piracy. However, opponents were concerned that ACTA would have favoured large companies' interests at the expense of citizens' rights.
The European Commission referred ACTA to the European Court of Justice in May for a ruling on the agreement and asked Parliament to wait for its conclusions. However, Parliament decided to press ahead with its own scrutiny of the agreement. Five committees came out against the agreement while the petition committee received a petition against ACTA signed by nearly three million people. Here you will find everything you need to know about ACTA and how the Parliament came to a decision as well as useful links to relevant documents.