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Wednesday, 17 December 2008 - Strasbourg OJ edition

19. Impact of counterfeiting on international trade - Consumer protection aspects of counterfeiting (debate)
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  Corien Wortmann-Kool, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group . (NL) Mr Barrot, it is true. You talked for a long time at this late hour. If, by doing so, you wanted to stress the fact that the Commission intends to prioritise the fight against counterfeiting, then you are forgiven. What is more, we would be happy to keep you to your lofty ambition, because it is still a major problem, and, indeed, one that is still increasing. It is no longer about cute Gucci bags, but about the health and safety of the European citizen, the European consumer.

I should like to convey my heartfelt thanks to the rapporteur for his excellent report which we, in the Committee on International Trade, but for two, approved unanimously. Last week, we were embroiled in complex negotiations about new resolutions, but I am pleased that we all retraced our steps. I therefore hope that, tomorrow, we will be able to adopt this resolution by the Committee on International Trade by a large majority. We appreciate the fact that the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe has withdrawn the alternative resolution.

We need far better cooperation if we want to win the fight against counterfeiting. Customs offices play an important role in this, as is illustrated by the coordinated effort in five European countries where customs offices and industry have been working together closely and have destroyed a considerable amount of counterfeit goods. Excellent!

We also need better coordination, but we do not propose a new European agency in our resolution, although we did entertain the idea. In that connection, I should like to draw your attention to Mr Martin’s suggestion to set up a European scoreboard. That is an excellent idea.

I also wanted to mention the penalties to you, in particular, Commissioner for Justice. I hope that you will take our proposals seriously and will actually take them on board.

 
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