Friday

25th May 2018

Focus

New MEP appointed to head up Acta dossier

  • The Parliament's International Trade committee is responsible for preparing the assembly's report on ACTA (Photo: EUobserver)

British Labour MEP David Martin was appointed on Tuesday (7th February) as the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the European Parliament’s report on the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an international treaty on copyright and intellectual property protection.

Martin, who has previously been Parliament rapporteur on the Maastricht treaty, as well as a Vice-President of Parliament, replaces French Socialist Kader Arif, who dramatically resigned last week from the rapporteurship complaining about the way negotiations have been carried out to date.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Martin’s appointment follows the news earlier this week that the Polish and Czech governments have suspended their domestic adoption of the treaty. Other EU governments are also coming under pressure to consider their stance, following a spate of protests by Internet free speech campaigners.

An estimated 100 further demonstrations, including events in London and Paris, are expected to take place this weekend according to website stopacta-protest.info.

The treaty would establish international standards over how copyright infringements are dealt with, with preventative measures including imprisonment and fines.

Martin said that he wanted the Parliament to “have a facts-based discussion and not a debate around myths.”

Commenting that the treaty was designed to be “about better enforcement of existing copyright and intellectual property rights through international cooperation,” he stressed that it "should not change existing European law in this area.

“I will be going through the text thoroughly and take legal advice (including through the European Court of Justice if necessary), to ensure that ACTA respects the existing body of EU law,” he concluded.

Although 22 EU member states have signed the treaty agreement, as well as a range of countries, including the US, Australia and Japan, the deal requires the consent of the European Parliament - as well as all member states - to come into force.

Indeed, ACTA’s passage through the Parliament is expected to be tricky. The assembly has adopted several resolutions since the 2009 elections calling on the Commission, which has negotiated the draft deal for the EU, to be more transparent in making documents and its negotiating stance publicly available.

The centre-right EPP group, which is the Parliament’s largest political group, has so far been most sympathetic to the Commission’s position, but there are widespread concerns about ACTA amongst the Socialist, Liberal and Green groups.

The Parliament’s international trade committee will hold its first discussions on the agreement on 29 February while the Parliament will also organise a public workshop on 1 March. Its final decision is not expected before the June or July plenary sessions.

Battle lines drawn up in EU row on Acta

The European Commission has stepped into the growing row over the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, Acta, as leading MEPs refuse to fast-track parliamentary approval due to bad faith in talks.

EU parliament chief joins anti-Acta camp

European Parliament chief Martin Schulz has spoken out against a new intellectual property regime, amid growing signs it will face problems getting past MEPs.

Pressure mounts on EU cloud deal as deadline looms

The European Commission is under pressure to keep to its self-imposed September deadline to publish an EU cloud computing strategy, as new evidence revealed widespread public confusion about it.

Visual Data

EU budget: Biggest cuts and increases

The European Parliament accused the EU Commission of not providing clear figures for a comparison of the proposed and the current EU budgets. We take a look at the main differences.

News in Brief

  1. Italy set to pick eurosceptic finance minister
  2. UK foreign minister fooled by Russian pranksters
  3. Rajoy ally gets 33 years in jail for corruption
  4. Close race as polls open in Irish abortion referendum
  5. Gazprom accepts EU conditions on gas supplies
  6. Facebook tells MEPs: non-users are not profiled
  7. Commission proposes ending France deficit procedure
  8. UK households hit with Brexit income loss

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach