Tuesday, March 09, 2010

EU Parliament resolution on ACTA tabled

Christian Engström writes that an EU Parliament resolution has been tabled on 'Transparency and State of Play of ACTA negotiations'. The resolution:
"1.    Reminds that the Commission has since the 1 December 2009 the legal obligation to immediately and fully inform the European Parliament at all stages of international negotiations;
2.    Expresses its concern over the lack of a transparent process in the conduct of the ACTA negotiations which contradicts the letter and the spirit of the TFEU; is deeply concerned that no legal base has been established before the start of the ACTA negotiations and that no parliamentary approval has been asked for the mandate;
3.    Calls on the Commission and Council to grant public and parliamentary access to ACTA negotiation texts and summaries in accordance with the Treaty and the Regulation 1049/2001 on Public Access to Documents;
4.    Calls on the Commission and Council to pro-actively engage with ACTA partners to rule out any further negotiations of an a piori confidential nature and to timely and entirely inform Parliament about its initiatives in this regard; expects the Commission to make proposals already prior to the next negotiation round in New Zealand in April 2010 and to demand that the issue of transparency is put on the agenda of that meeting, and to refer to Parliament the outcome of this round immediately after its conclusion;
5.    Stresses that, unless the Parliament is immediately and fully informed at all stages of the negotiations, Parliament reserves its right to take suitable action, including bringing a case before the Court of Justice in order to safeguard its prerogatives;
6.    Calls on the Commission to conduct an impact assessment of ACTA's implementation on fundamental rights and data protection, on the ongoing EU efforts to harmonise IPR enforcement measures, and on E-Commerce, prior to any EU agreement to a consolidated ACTA treaty text, and to timely consult with Parliament about the results of this assessment;
7.    Welcomes affirmations by the Commission that any ACTA agreement will be limited to the enforcement of existing IPRs, with no prejudice for the development of substantive IP law in the European Union;
8.    Calls on the Commission to continue the negotiations on ACTA in order to improve the effectiveness of the IPR enforcement system against counterfeiting;
9.    Urges the Commission to ensure that the enforcement of ACTA provisions - especially its provisions on copyright enforcement procedures in the digital environment - are fully in line with the acquis communitaire; demands that no personal search is undertaken at the EU borders and requests full clarification of any clauses that would allow for warrantless searches and confiscation of information storage devices, such as laptops, cell phones and MP3 players, by border and customs authorities;
10.    Considers that in order to respect fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy, with full respect for subsidiarity, the proposed Agreement must refrain from imposing any so called "three strikes" procedures, in full respect of the decision of Parliament on article 1.1b in the (amending) Directive 2009/140/EC that calls to insert a new para 3 a to article 1 Directive 2002/21/EC on the matter of  "three strikes"
11.    Emphasizes that privacy and data protection are core values of the European Union, recognised in Article 8 ECHR and Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which must be respected in all the policies and rules adopted by the EU pursuant to Article 16 of the TFEU;
12.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the Governments and Parliaments of ACTA negotiation participants."
Christian Engström provides a link to a Microsoft Word version of the full resolution. Amonsgt quite a range of demands including a ban on ACTA introducing 3 strikes, the resolution threatens that the parliament will apply to the European Court of Justice for greater transparency and public access to the details of the ACTA negotiations.

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