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Parliamentary questions
5 May 2010
Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

1. Since the launch of negotiations, the Commission has continuously informed the public about the objectives and general thrust of the ACTA negotiations. The Commission has also released summary reports after every negotiation round, as well as a detailed written state-of-play of the negotiation so far. This and other relevant information are available on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade(1).

Furthermore, the Commission organised three stakeholder conferences on ACTA (these took place on 23 June 2008, 21 April 2009 and 22 March 2010) which were open to all — citizens, industry, NGOs, press and representatives from third countries.

2. It is true that considerable speculation regarding certain alleged content of ACTA results from the fact that the negotiating documents have not yet been made public, since most rumours (imposition of graduated response for Internet infringements, imposition of monitoring obligations for Internet service providers, controls of laptops and ipods, etc.) refer to positions that are not supported by the EU and often not supported by any of the ACTA partners.

3. The Commission understands that the best way for concerned parties to know what is going on in these negotiations is to have access to the draft negotiating text. For this reason, the Commission has strongly pushed for and obtained the agreement from the other ACTA parties for the release of the ACTA negotiating text to the public. This text has been made available to the public on 21 April 2010 and can be consulted on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade(2).

All interested parties will be fully informed about the current status of the negotiations and will be able to express their concerns based on facts and not on rumours and out-of-context leaks.

4. At this stage the Commission does not wish to comment the position of other ACTA partners, however, in general terms, it is most plausible that they base their negotiating positions on their domestic legislation. The Commission's contribution to the civil enforcement chapter of ACTA is closely based on the 2004 Civil Enforcement Directive.

5. The situation for individuals, European or not, travelling in Europe will not change with ACTA. ACTA will be in line with the current EU regime for enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights — which fully respects fundamental rights and freedoms and civil liberties, such as the protection of personal data. One such example is the clause that exempts travellers from checks if the infringing goods are not part of large scale traffic. And this will not be changed by ACTA. Regarding the situation in the other ACTA parties, there is agreement for a similar clause to be included in ACTA, as already indicated in the joint press-release issued by all ACTA participants on 16 April 2010, at the end of the latest round of negotiations.

6. A Commission official has stated that it would be necessary to find large premisses to accommodate all the stake-holders interested by ACTA. Indeed, at the meeting of stake-holders that took place on 22 March 2010, there were more than 300 registered participants citizens, industry, NGOs, press and representatives from third countries. There were questions, comments and statements produced both support of ACTA and expressing concern about a number of issues.


OJ C 138 E, 07/05/2011
Last updated: 11 May 2010Legal notice