The negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) started in June 2008 and were finalised in November 2010. As the Honourable Member indicates, the final text of the ACTA agreement is available to the public.
It is the Council's understanding that, during the ACTA negotiations the European Commission, which was responsible for conducting the negotiations, with the participation of the Presidency of the Council for matters under Member States' competence, shared with the European Parliament seven draft consolidated texts of the agreement, three detailed written reports on negotiation rounds and fourteen notes and internal working papers. Furthermore, the European Commission and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union have kept the Parliament fully informed on several occasions in plenary, committee meetings and other informal debriefing sessions. For further details, the Honourable Member is referred to the note on Transparency of ACTA negotiations issued by the European Commission on 13 February 2012(1).
Furthermore, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents(2), the Council has received numerous requests for access to documents related to the ACTA negotiations. According to preliminary information received from the relevant Council services, in response to those requests, twenty-two documents have been fully released to the public, partial access has been granted to another twenty-two documents, whilst the request was refused in ten cases pursuant to the exceptions set out in Article 4 of the abovementioned Regulation.
Regarding the Honourable Member's fourth question, the Council is still of the view that accession by the EU to ACTA will not require any changes to the current acquis communautaire. This means, inter alia, that ACTA will not result in any changes of the current acquis communautaire on the liability of intermediary service providers.
The Honourable Member is doubtless aware of the fact that the Commission decided, on 22 February 2012, to refer the ACTA agreement to the European Court of Justice, for the latter to assess whether ACTA is incompatible with the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property as regards intellectual property.