ACTA wrong solution to protect intellectual property

Press Release
Strasbourg -
Internal Policies and EU Institutions

European Parliament President Martin Schulz made the following statement after the vote by the European Parliament to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA):

"The decision to reject ACTA was not taken lightly. It followed an intensive, inclusive and transparent debate with civil society, business organisations, national parliaments and many other stakeholders.

The vote against ACTA was not one against the protection of intellectual property. On the contrary - the European Parliament staunchly supports the fight against piracy and counterfeiting, which harm European companies and pose a threat to consumer health and European jobs.

The majority in the European Parliament is of the opinion that ACTA is a wrong solution, a sentiment shared by millions of citizens. The majority in the European Parliament is of the opinion that ACTA is too vague, leaving the room for abuses and raising concern about its impact on consumers' privacy and civil liberties, on innovation and the free flow of information.

ACTA was negotiated by a group of industrialised countries in a process that provoked complaints for its lack of transparency. The European Parliament tried to redress this shortcoming. It organised workshops, seminars and other meetings with representatives of civil society and all others involved in the debate. We tried to listen and learn from engaged citizens. I myself talked on several occasions with activists and in online chats.

The debate on ACTA demonstrated the existence of European public opinion that transcends national borders. All over Europe, people were engaged in protests and debates. The mobilisation of public opinion was unprecedented. As the President of the European Parliament, I am committed to dialogue with citizens and to make Europe more democratic and understandable."

For further information:

  • Armin Machmer
    Mobile: +32 479 97 11 98
  • Marcin Grajewski
    Press Officer
    Mobile: +32 498 98 15 50