EU Council Trying To Push Through ACTA Without Much Scrutiny

from the but-of-course dept

About a month ago, we noted that EU ACTA supporters were hoping to rush through the signing of ACTA in the EU, despite serious concern from the EU Parliament, who wanted to review it to make sure it didn’t actually go against current EU law. It appears the push to get it signed quickly without review is ramping up. Glyn Moody points us to a report noting a quietly released document (pdf) from the Council of the European Union, that appears to support signing ACTA without further review. The document makes a number of highly questionable statements:

ACTA is a balanced agreement, because it fully respects the rights of citizens and the concerns of important stakeholders such as consumers, internet providers and partners in developing countries.

Almost none of that is true. There is no balance in the document. The document did not make much of an effort to “respect the rights of citizens.” And “consumers, internet providers and partners in developing nations” were kept out of the negotiations for the most part, and not shown the document for comment until it was already set in stone. Developing nations, including Brazil and India have come out squarely against ACTA, noting that it did not take into account their views at all.

Basically, the statement here appears to be entirely false. When you have to flat-out lie to explain why you should support ACTA, it really becomes clear how bad the agreement is.

Regarding the signature and conclusion of ACTA, the Commission has opted not to propose that the European Union exercise its potential competence in the area of criminal enforcement pursuant to Article 83(2) TFEU. The Commission considers this appropriate because it has never been the intention, as regards the negotiation of ACTA to modify the EU acquis or to harmonise EU legislation as regards criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights. For this reason, the Commission proposes that ACTA be signed and concluded both by the EU and by all the Member States.

The wording here is a bit complex (perhaps on purpose), but it appears to basically be arguing that ACTA should be signed without the further reviews on the impact of it, because it’s not intended to make any serious changes to the law. That it actually does require changes to laws is really of no concern, apparently.

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Comments on “EU Council Trying To Push Through ACTA Without Much Scrutiny”

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Anonymous Coward says:

ACTA is another snake in the grass. While it is yet to see where it will go, Mexico at present has decided to put off signing this treaty too.

I agree that if it doesn’t require changing the law, there is no need for it nor any pressing rush to sign it without taking a close look at it.

The process under which ACTA was developed did not allow private concerns to be addressed. It is apparent at this point they don’t want it examined by the governments responsible for enforcing it to closely examine what they are agreeing to enforce.

At what point does disagreement with it’s basic ideas come into play? By the supporters it is readily seen as there is no point and if a little lying and fencing off opponents of this is required, then that too is no problem.

The more I hear of ACTA, the more I realize it is a terrible treaty and one no country should sign.

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