July 8, 2011

The European Parliament loves secrecy?

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This afternoon the FFII has requested minutes of European Parliament Committee meetings on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). ACTA was concluded in December 2010 after three years of confidential negotiations. The European Parliament now confidentially discusses whether to ask the Parliament’s legal service to answer questions about ACTA and whether to ask the European Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA.

We requested:

1. the minutes of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade meetings, both open and in camera, including the Committee’s coordinators meetings, both open and in camera, which relate to ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)

2. the minutes of the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs meetings, both open and in camera, including the Committee’s coordinators meetings, both open and in camera, which relate to ACTA

3. the minutes of the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs meetings, both open and in camera, including the Committee’s coordinators meetings, both open and in camera, which relate to ACTA

4. all Parliament documents which relate to asking the Parliament’s legal service to answer questions about ACTA

5. all Parliament documents which relate to asking the European Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA.

6. The negotiators’ notes the Commission added in the course of the ACTA negotiations.

In related news, 31 May 2011, European Digital Rights requested that the INTA Chairman, Portuguese MEP Vital Moreira, release ACTA negotiating drafts from past negotiating rounds. According to Inside U.S. Trade, Parliament Member Daniel Caspary (EPP) said the Trade Committee is requesting input from the parliament’s legal services to determine if it must reply to this request to release all negotiating texts, and he said he was confident that the committee would have the legal basis to reject this request after the summer recess.

The European Parliament loves secrecy?

The Parliament heavily criticized the Commission’s decision to keep ACTA negotiations confidential. Now that discussion in Parliament have started, we see the same unwillingness to keep the citizens informed. ACTA’s predecessor, the TRIPS agreement, killed millions of people. These international agreements are much too important to discuss behind closed doors.

Full transparency now!

See also: Legal questions about ACTA