Netherlands Pre-Warns EU Parliament That It Will Not Accept ACTA

from the good-for-them dept

With critical votes in the EU Parliament on ACTA quickly approaching, the Dutch House of Representatives decided to take a pre-emptive strike, and unanimously accept a motion that urged the Cabinet to reject ACTA, while also rejecting “any future treaty that may harm a free and open Internet.” Of course, this is the same Netherlands whose courts are currently censoring a local political party for setting up an internet proxy, so it appears there’s at least some confusion in that country. Either way, it’s nice to see this pre-emptive strike, though it’s not clear how much power the Dutch government would have to reject ACTA if the EU Parliament accepted it…

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Comments on “Netherlands Pre-Warns EU Parliament That It Will Not Accept ACTA”

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Christopher (profile) says:

Although we are a small country, we have always have proven that to be trendsetters. For instance, we were the first country to adopt gay-marriage.

Yes we have elections coming, but that doesn’t argue against it. In Dutch Constitutional law we have the confidencly principle (vertrouwensbeginsel) which states that once the House has decided over a specific matter it should leave it there even if another House arrives.

Anonymous Coward says:

all EU countries need to do the same, finishing this bad piece of USA and USA businesses oriented legislation for good whilst at the same time expressing the view that there will be similar rejection of any ‘like-minded legislation’ in the future, regardless of the name, the wording or the threats that accompanied it

Cerberus (profile) says:

After the fall of the last (right-wing) cabinet, the role of a player, the right-wing populists (Wilders) seems to be have ended. Without him, a right-wing coalition is impossible. Since all left-wing parties are against ACTA-like treaties and laws, it seems impossible that any such treaty should be accepted over during the following years. And the liberal right-wingers have returned to their roots as well and are now firmly against ACTA. So we’re safe for the next couple of years.

Anonymous Coward says:

However, according to one article I read, as soon as ACTA is ratified by any six nations, the convention will come into force.

If they follow the way US politics works, everyone will vote no except for the six countries required for activation, then run back to their constituents and say “sorry, we tried, but were ‘obligated’ to follow the rules.”

On the other hand, if it worked the way US politics did, they’d have just set a deadline for automatic activation, hold it up in “committees” until after the deadline had passed, and then everyone could vote no, at which point the vote would be meaningless and despite unanimous rejections they would not be able to garner the 2/3 or 3/4 vote necessary for repeal.

Cerberus (profile) says:

ACTA is now dead in the EU.

If six countries should ratify the treaty, it will only come into force for those countries that have ratified it. See Wikipedia on ACTA:

No signatory has ratified (formally approved) the agreement, which would come into force after ratification by 6 countries. After entry into force, the treaty would only apply in those countries that ratified it.

The only sliver of doubt is the fact that the EU is not a country. However, the European Commission told ZDnet:

[I]f a member state turns down the agreement, “ACTA will stay a valid international agreement but the EU and its member states will not deposit their instrument of ratification until all member states and the European Parliament have ratified it”. If you don’t deposit your instrument of ratification, the rules say, you don’t play. ?

So I think it is safe to assume that a single country can block ACTA’s ratification by the EU. I am not sure whether it is theoretically possible that ACTA should come into force in individual EU countries if the EU rejects it; however, I don’t think any EU country would consider ratifying it if the EU cannot ratify it.

So ACTA has no future in Europe, it seems, unless a new Dutch parliament gets elected containing entirely new parties that will revert the decision of the current parliament. Since the decision not to ratify was made unanimously, this seems extremely unlikely. ACTA is dead in Europe; rejoice!

Frankly I consider the chance that it will be ratified by six non-EU countries small: would Japan, New Zealand, Morocco and such countries really ratify a treaty that was widely criticised and rejected by the EU?

The Rufmeister-General says:

There was another small interesting part of the motion!

I’m not sure it was the same motion, because the motion had a sibling (also passed) that warns that the cabinet should also hold off on similar treaties in the future.

Anyway, one of those two motions also explicitly said (quoted in Dutch): “Ik verzoek de regering tot slot het auteursrechtbeleid toe te spitsen op de economische groeimogelijkheden die het internet biedt via onder meer nieuwe verdienmodellen voor legaal aanbod.”

Which means (approx.): “Lastly, I request the government focus the copyright policy on economic growth possibilities that the internet offers through, amongst others, new business models for legal offerings”.

The very fact that a motion, passed by the House, not only condemns ACTA but explicitly says that the “solution” to the current “problem” is to make stuff available legally in consumer-friendly ways, is (IMHO) a very big deal.

Yay for The Netherlands! After that retarded judge thinking he can block TPB, we can be finally proud of our country again. GO WINDMILLS! GO WOODEN SHOES! INTERNET FOR ALL 😀

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