Action Required on Crucial ACTA Votes

Paris, May 22nd, 2012 – Next week, parliamentary committees of the European Parliament will vote on ACTA. Citizens keen to see this agreement rejected must act and contact members of the legal affairs (JURI), industry (ITRE) and civil liberties (LIBE) committees, who will cast their votes on the 31st of May.

The final vote on ACTA in the European Parliament, scheduled for the July plenary session (July 3 – 5), is approaching fast and will be influenced by the INTA committee's final report. Until then, the different committees working on of ACTA will vote next week on their final reports1 before transmitting them to INTA. The latest exchanges of views have proved that the lobbyists of the last remaining proponent of ACTA, is still trying to exert pressure. For instance, the Industry committee (ITRE)'s draft opinion, which has so far been particularly positive, could be neutralized during the vote.

Citizens have a decisive influence on the debates in the European Parliament. We must keep expressing our views to the committee members, during both the opinion votes and the final report's vote, to ensure that the Parliament has no other option during the plenary than to massively reject ACTA. A massive and clearcut rejection, carried by a strong citizen mobilization, will pave the way for a much needed positive copyright reform.

Legal Affairs committee (JURI) – Vote on May 31st

Rapporteur Marielle Gallo's draft opinion is in complete favour of ACTA's adoption and will be submitted to vote on May 31st. It will be put to a vote without amendments, as a very last manoeuvre on the rapporteur's part, well known for her repressive views on copyright. Mrs Gallo's draft opinion must be rejected in JURI.

Industry committee (ITRE) – Vote on May the 31st

A heated debate2 surrounded the presentation of the excellent report by rapporteur Amelia Andersdotter, on April 24th. These discussions illustrate the entertainment industries' renewed efforts to influence Members of the European Parliament and counter the citizens opposed to ACTA.

The vote on the report along with its amendments is scheduled for May the 31st. Some of these amendments propose to modify the recommendation, currently calling for rejection, in effect neutralizing it. Citizen mobilization is crucial to ensure that the ITRE committee will vote in favour of the original report and call for ACTA's rejection. Amendments 39, 40 and 41 must be rejected.

Civil Liberties committee (LIBE) – Vote on May the 31st

Rapporteur Dimitrios Droutsas will submit his excellent draft report to vote on May the 31st. The report's conclusion is that ACTA is incompatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Citizens must make sure that the LIBE report is voted as is and is not rendered harmless by further amendments. Amendment 42, recommending that ACTA be rejected, must be adopted.

Once the JURI, ITRE, LIBE and DEVE committees' opinions are adopted, they will be transmitted to the main committee, INTA (international trade), who will then vote on its own report and amendments. The finalisation and vote of the INTA report will be the final and decisive step that will orient, depending on its recommendation, the adoption or the rejection of ACTA by the whole of the Parliament, and therefore by the European Union. If we stay vigilant and mobilized, we will win.

Next steps:

  • Wednesday, May 30th Exchange of views in JURI
  • Thursday, May 31th: Vote of the LIBE, JURI and ITRE opinion
  • Monday, June 4th: Vote of the DEVE opinion
  • Wednesday, June 21th: Vote of the INTA opinion
  • Tuesday, July 3rd or Wednesday, July 4th, or Thursday, July 5th: Final vote in Plenary