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Key EU committee opposes ACTA

By | Published on Friday 22 June 2012

European Parliament

The European Parliament’s International Trade Committee has come out against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the controversial global agreement on intellectual property laws.

As much previously reported, although already ratified by numerous EU countries directly, and technically the EU itself, the global intellectual property agreement is still to be considered by the European Parliament. The agreement has come under increased criticism in recent months, despite many nations having already signed it, partly because of the way it was negotiated, and partly because of fears (disputed by the treaty’s supporters) that it will bring draconian copyright protection rules into various countries by the back door.

Four other committees in the European Parliament had already opposed the agreement, but the International Trade Committee’s viewpoint is the most important, as it will make recommendations to the parliament at large. It therefore looks increasingly likely that MEPs will vote against the agreement when they debate it next month.

Of course, as mentioned, many EU member states have already signed up to the agreement individually, so the treaty will still stand in much of the Union whatever the parliament decides, unless a separate investigation by the European Courts Of Justice shows that the treaty breaches fundamental EU rights.