Monday

25th Mar 2019

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

News in Brief

  1. EU leaders at summit demand more effort on disinformation
  2. Report: Corbyn to meet May on Monday for Brexit talks
  3. Petition against Brexit attracts 2.4m signatures
  4. Study: Brexit to cost EU citizens up to €40bn annually
  5. NGOs demand France halt Saudi arm sales
  6. Report: Germany against EU net-zero emissions target
  7. Former top EU official takes job at law firm
  8. Draft text of EU summit has Brexit extension until 22 May

Agenda

Copyright and (another) new Brexit vote This WEEK

The UK parliament will likely hold a third vote on the Brexit withdrawal deal next week, determining the UK's departure from the bloc. In the meantime, the controversial copyright reform will be on the EU parliament's agenda.

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  2. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean
  3. Copyright and (another) new Brexit vote This WEEK
  4. EU avoids Brexit crash, sets new date for 12 April
  5. Campaigning commissioners blur the lines
  6. Slovakia puts squeeze on free press ahead of election
  7. EPP suspends Orban's Fidesz party
  8. Macron is confusing rigidity with strength

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us