*** Brussels, June 19th 2012 – This Thursday, June 21st, the “International Trade” (INTA ) committee of the EU Parliament will adopt its draft report on ACTA. Under pressure from the EU Commission and industry lobbyists , members of the committee could decide, potentially in a secret vote, to call for the adoption of ACTA or to postpone the final vote for years, which would help the pro-ACTA to save face. Citizens participation is absolutely crucial to ensure that the Parliament will stick to the general interest and face its political responsibility by voting a clear rejection of ACTA. ***
This Thursday, June 21st, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee will recommend the rest of the Parliament to either accept or reject ACTA.
For months, many NGOs and public institutions produced analysis and commentaries , showing that ACTA is dangerous for innovation, freedom of speech and privacy online. Hundreds of thousands of citizens took the streets this past winter against ACTA, urging for a reform of today’s outdated copyright regime. This has led to an intense political debate within the EU Parliament. The different opinion reports recently adopted by several committees of the Parliament urged  for the rejection of ACTA.
But as the final vote of the EU Parliament gets closer (scheduled for July 3rd-5th ), all these efforts could be smashed.
Whereas the draft report  of INTA rapporteur David Martin  (UK, S&D) recommends the rejection of ACTA, other INTA members have tabled amendments  asking either for the adoption of ACTA or for postponing the vote for years, pending an opinion of the EU Court of Justice on the legality of the agreement. Postponing the vote would ruin all chances to have ACTA rejected any time soon, and would pave the way to more repressive policies in the meantime. Citizens must remind Members of the INTA committee that postponing ACTA vote is a tactic of both the EU Commission and copyright lobbies to save face. If the final vote is postponed, the EU Parliament would be seen as playing into the hands of ACTA supporters, renouncing to its political power and its mission to defend citizens.
“Confirmed rumours in the corridors of the Parliament suggest that Thursday’s vote could be held in secret. Such a trick would allow Members of political groups who are officially against ACTA to escape their political responsibility. Important progress has been made in the last months as policy-makers increasingly understand the need to break away from repression and to reform copyright. We cannot allow powerful lobbies and the EU Commission to erase it all”, says Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net.
Every citizen can participate  in this final push against ACTA. Our PiPhone  can be used to call Members of the INTA committee for free, and tell them to vote against ACTA!
* References *
2. Industry lobbies have put together a website in support of ACTA and are sending many letters to MEPs. See http://www.actafacts.com/
5. Exact date will be decided one week in advance by the EU Parliament’s conference of Presidents.
** About la Quadrature du Net **
La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge.
In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage citizens’ participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the digital age.
La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Privacy International.
List of supporting organisations: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net
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