European Parliament Vs. ACTA: Rejection is the only option

Paris, September 8th, 2010 - The adoption by the European Parliament of Written Declaration 12 opposing the ACTA agreement sends a strong political signal. European Commission shows its will to quickly conclude the negotiations of this agreement that includes harmful provisions for fundamental rights. ACTA aims at circumventing democracy to impose now and later repressive legislation through secret negotiations. The European Parliament now has a unique occasion to firmly oppose it.

written declaration 12

Citizens from all around Europe1 helped to raise awareness about ACTA among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) by collecting, one by one, more than 369 signatures2. With Written Declaration 12/20103, the European Parliament as a whole takes a firm position to oppose the un-democratic process of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agremeent (ACTA), and its content harmful to fundamental freedoms and the Internet ecosystem.

As the latest text of the agreement was leaked by Knowledge Ecology International4, it is clear that even if some explicit wording about Internet provider's liabilty was modified, the threat is still maximal that ACTA installs private copyright police of the Net taking orders from the entertainment industry, while creating major legal uncertainty over all Internet operators and users. The European Commission is willfully participating and about to accept this, as it also preparing more repression of Internet users, according to the lobbies wishes, with the upcoming enforcement directive5.

"Written Declaration 12 is a strong political signal sent by the EP to the Commission that ACTA is not tolerable as a way of bypassing democratic processes. Legislation related to Internet, freedom of speech and privacy cannot be negotiated in secrecy under the direct influence of entertainment industry lobbies." declares Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

"The attacks on freedoms may become less visible in the final agreement, but they will be no less present. ACTA was put in place to circumvent democracy, and its governance provisions will make possible to extend the scope of this circumvention after an agreement is reached." declares Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature.

"Adoption of Written Declaration 12 gives hope in the 'consent' vote6 that the European Parliament will need to take in order to accept or reject ACTA when it is finalized. Then again - as well as in upcoming legislative and non-legislative attacks such as the Gallo report-, citizens will need to act courageously to make sure that their Internet and their fundamental freedoms are properly defended. Full rejection of ACTA is the only option." concludes Zimmermann.