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Parliamentary questions
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8 November 2012
Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-008263/2012

As a general rule, texts and provisions under negotiation are confidential and therefore no drafts are made public before the negotiation is completed. This rule is also requested and applied by all our negotiation partners, such as Canada in the case of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

In accordance with this rule, no external parties have been involved in the drafting and negotiation of the CETA text apart from the Commission staff concerned. Furthermore, the text under negotiation is sent on a regular basis to the Council's Trade Policy Committee and to the INTA Committee of Parliament. Both the Council and EP are also regularly kept up-to-date on the state-of-play of the CETA negotiations in accordance with the framework Agreement between the Commission and the EP. That being said, outdated drafts of the CETA text have been leaked and published on certain websites by third parties.

A few Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues are still being discussed with the Canadian authorities; they relate essentially to the protection of pharmaceuticals and to border measures. Regarding ‘digital rights’ as well as any other IPR provisions currently included in the draft CETA, the Commission is carefully ensuring that they correspond as much as possible to existing EU legislation, without exceeding it. EU legislation, and previous bilateral trade agreements such as the one concluded with Korea, therefore constitute an adequate source of information for the public.

Criminal IPR enforcement provisions are also still being discussed. The Commission and the EU Presidency that acts on behalf of the Member States are working to ensure that no controversial text from ACTA in this field will be introduced through the back door

OJ C 277 E, 26/09/2013
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