Friday, March 13, 2009

EU Parliament wants transparency on ACTA

At least the EU parliament is apparently asking for more transparency on legislative documents and international agreements like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Alliance ACTA.
"No legislative documents should be kept secret: this must be a basic principle of the reformed policy on access to documents, the European Parliament says in a vote on a new EU rules on the issue. Members adopted amendments to the draft proposal but postponed the vote on the legislative resolution, leaving the door open for further negotiations and a first-reading agreement. The European Parliament adopted amendments on the basis of a codecision report drafted by Michael CASHMAN (PES, UK) in order to revise the 2001 regulation on access to documents, which has been followed by a number of rulings by the Court of Justice. The revised regulation will incorporate these rulings into a single framework for all the institutions, but MEPs want to go further...

Documents on International agreements to be made public

International accords on the sharing of confidential information concluded in the name of the EU (such as the agreement with the USA on passenger name records or "PNR"), must not give a non-EU country or an international organisation the right to prevent the European Parliament from accessing confidential information.

Members also call the Commission to make available all documents related to the ongoing international negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) - which will contain a new international benchmark on intellectual property right enforcement. "
Update: Meanwhile on the other side of the pond the Obama administration has declared ACTA documents to be state secrets, or more precisely, "information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958."

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