The European Parliament officially opposes ACTA, as 3 of its committees vote against the controversial and draconian agreement. But the battle is not over yet.
Digital Journal reported on April 18, 2012 that the EU Parliament may reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). On May 29, it was reported that the Dutch Parliament had rejected ACTA.
There has been much controversy in the EU Parliament over the agreement, including a rapporteur resigning from his position. Kader Arif stated at the time:
"I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement. As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens' legitimate demands."
Minister of the European Parliament (MEP) David Martin then became the rapporteur in Arif's place.
Now, after 3 of its influential committees have stated that the trade agreement should be rejected, the EU Parliament have officially opposed the controversial treaty.
Said influential committees opposing ACTA are: the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) and the Committee for Civil LIberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).
In the case of ITRE, votes were split with 31 votes for and 12 votes against, with 1 member abstaining, on a draft opinion calling on Parliament to reject ACTA.
JURI members had 10 votes for and 12 against, with 2 committee members abstaining. The small-margin victory still went to opponents of the treaty.
Regarding LIBE, 36 members voted to reject ACTA with 1 against and 21 abstaining from voting.
However, this positive news does not mean that it is all over. The next vote by the Committee on International Trade (INTA) is set to take place on June 21, 2012. This will be the fourth and final voting before ACTA is taken to a plenary session in early July.
On February 12, Digital Journal reported on the thousands of protesters across Europe demonstrating against the draconian agreement.
It is to be hoped that the current decisions in the EU Parliament and the hopes of the activists against ACTA will take fruit and the agreement will be shelved.