Gallo pro-ACTA Opinion Must Be Rejected

Brussels, April 24th, 2012 - Marielle Gallo's draft opinion report, urging for the adoption of ACTA may be about to be adopted by the Legal Affairs committee of the EU Parliament. This opinion, full of approximations and analytical mistakes, will be put to vote on Thursday. It must be opposed by her colleagues. Citizens can help.

The rapporteur of ACTA in the “Legal Affairs” (JURI) committee Marielle Gallo (France, EPP), famous for her extreme positions on online copyright enforcement, issued her draft opinion report.

Unsurprisingly, the latter is a fierceful defence of ACTA relying on gross misinterpretations of the agreement. It concludes by calling on the International Affairs (INTA) committee to approve ACTA.

Many of Mrs. Gallo's claims do not resist scrutiny, as La Quadrature points out in a memo sent to JURI members. In trying to present ACTA as a legitimate agreement, she makes several analytical errors and concludes that ACTA respects EU law. This is contradicted by several independant analysis carried on by scholars, NGOs and public institutions.

Mrs. Gallo bases her draft report on two opinions of the European Parliament legal services, which she says are “publicly available”. But these two opinions are actually heavily redacted and many pages had been left blank. The EU Parliament refused to publish them in full, not redacted form, saying that such release would “seriously interfere with the complex ratification process”1. So much for transparency!

The draft opinion's flaws are all the more a source of concern considering that the JURI committee declined to open this draft report for amendments. In the face of Mrs. Gallo's draft, the JURI committee has no choice but to re-open her opinion report to amendments or reject it altogether. Citizens and MEPs must remain watchful of the correctness of voting conditions.

“Marielle Gallo is known for her extreme positions on copyright enforcement, and she persists in denying the dangers of privatised censorship for fundamental rights. Her stubborn defence of ACTA should come as no surprise, but her colleagues in the JURI committee must absolutely oppose her dogmatism by rejecting her report.", says Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

Until Thursday, you can get in touch with your MEPs in the JURI committee and make sure they take your views into account when voting on their report on ACTA, by using the Pi Phone.