Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission
1. Discussions in the framework of the negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) about the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in the digital environment are still ongoing. The EU position regarding the treatment of IPR infringements on the Internet will reflect the existing EU rules, and notably the directive on electronic commerce (Directive 2000/31/EC(1)) and the Telecoms’ Regulatory Framework including its revision adopted by the Council and the European Parliament in 2009. The Commission can therefore guarantee that the final outcome of the ACTA will be fully respectful of fundamental rights, freedoms and civil liberties.
2. Compliance with the acquis communautaire will be ensured regarding any future ACTA provisions regulating the liability exemptions for Internet Service Providers and the ‘non monitoring obligation’ principle as provided by the directive on electronic commerce.
3. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, trade policy falls under the ordinary legislative procedure and trade related agreements such as ACTA will require the consent of the European Parliament. The Commission has kept, and will keep, the European Parliament regularly informed on the state of play of the negotiations, particularly through the committee on International Trade (INTA), even since before the launch of the ACTA negotiations. Commissioners Mandelson and Ashton, as well as the Trade Director General have addressed this issue several times in the last two years. The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty has increased the European Parliament's powers over trade policy. In order to ensure that the Parliament will be fully informed, at all stages of trade negotiations of the evolution of those negotiations, further arrangements will have to be made between the Commission and the Parliament.