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Parliamentary questions
22 March 2011
Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

Article 2.1 of ACTA clearly defines its nature as a binding international agreement, which is binding on all its signatories: ‘Each Party shall give effect to the provisions of this Agreement. A Party may implement in its law more extensive enforcement of intellectual property rights than is required by this Agreement, provided that such enforcement does not contravene the provisions of this Agreement.’

The Commission is not aware of any statement made by the US authorities about ACTA being a voluntary agreement or about US laws not being consistent with ACTA. Such a statement was certainly never made in the course of the negotiations and is not part of the text of the agreement.

The reference to the Vienna Convention(1) in the initial reply was an answer to what the Commission understood as the general question about whether or not ACTA is formally considered to be an international agreement, binding on all its parties. The fact that the United States of America signed but have not yet ratified the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties has no bearing on whether or not the US is bound by this Treaty.

(1)The International Court of Justice in the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case observed that: ‘[The Court] needs only to bemindful of the fact that it has several times had occasion to hold that some of the rules laid down in that Convention might be considered as a codification of existing customary law’ (I.C.J. Reports 1997, p. 38, para. 46). The Court’s opinion, together with the relatively high number of parties to the Convention, suggests that the instrument states the current general international law of treaties.

OJ C 294 E, 06/10/2011
Last updated: 3 May 2011Legal notice