December 30, 2010

Did the EU Commission secretly initial ACTA?

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According to European Parliament sources, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has already been initialed. That would be amazing: normally the initialling of a trade agreement is a PR moment. Take for instance the EU – Korea free trade agreement: “EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton and Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon have today initialled a free trade agreement (…) Speaking following the initialling in Brussels, Commissioner Ashton said (…)”. The initialling of a trade agreement signifies the closing of negotiations with a stable legal text. Negotiators sign with their initials.

Update: answers

I asked the Commission 11 questions:

The EU is negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The parties published the final text.

1. When will the Commission initial ACTA?

2. Did the Commission already initial ACTA?

If yes:

3. When did the Commission initial ACTA?

4. Which other parties initialed ACTA as well?

5. The initialling of the EU – Korea free trade agreement was a PR moment, why not the initialling of ACTA?

6. Does initialling ACTA fall under the secrecy agreement?

7. Did the Commission initial ACTA including the criminal measures?

8. Did the Commission add negotiator’s notes?

9. Will the parties publish the negotiator’s notes?

10. Did the Presidency initial ACTA as well?

11. Did the Presidency add negotiator’s notes?