Last week the European Parliament severely condemned ACTA in a vote against which there is no appeal. At the same time, my staff have analysed an international trade agreement, CETA, which is intended to be concluded between Canada and the European Union.
Imagine our surprise when we found entire sections of the ACTA agreement reproduced in CETA!
Without wishing to cite at length the passages concerned, I shall merely pick out some terms to which the European Parliament took exception during its first reading of ACTA, such as ‘fair process’ or the extraordinarily vague ‘commercial scale’ with reference to civil or criminal measures to be taken, etc.
Leaving it to legal experts specialising in the field to go into the details, I wish to put two questions to the Commission.
They are deliberately simple, to ensure that this issue is not confined to the domain of technocrats, which was the Commission’s aim with ACTA, but is one with which every citizen can identify.
1. Why does an international trade agreement (CETA) which should be designed purely to promote trade between nations include paragraphs modifying our European domestic/internal laws concerning, for example, our copyright system?
2. In concluding such an agreement, why has account not been taken of the European Parliament’s vote on ACTA rejecting the same controversial paragraphs which are incorporated in CETA?