Monday, 23 January 2012

ACTA in European Parliament committees: International Trade and Development

Yesterday I offered some information about the state of ACTA in the institutions of the European Union: ACTA update (in part). Now for some complementary information.


INTA

The Committee on International Trade (INTA) is the responsible committee in the European Parliament.

The INTA minutes 20 December 2011 (INTA_PV(2011)1220_1) offer us this decision by the coordinators (page 2/13) about the EP timetable during the committee stage:

- To ask the INTA rapporteur for ACTA to fix the timetable so that the first exchange of views takes place in February and the vote in committee takes place in April or May 2012.

The draft agenda for the INTA meeting 25 and 26 January 2012 makes no specific additions regarding ACTA.


DEVE

According to the draft agenda (item 6), the Committee on Development (DEVE) 24 and 25 January 2012 is going to have an exchange of views Tuesday about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement between the EU and its Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the USA (procedure 2011/0167(NLE), based on COM(2011)0380).

While INTA is the committee responsible (Kader Arif S&D rapporteur), the rapporteur for the DEVE opinion is Jan Zahradil (ECR).

The DEVE draft opinion PA – PE478.666v01-00, dated 6 January 2012, is strongly supportive of measures to protect intellectual property and welcomes the conclusion of ACTA, commending the Commission for ”having ensured that ACTA provisions comply with the Union acquis and that nothing in ACTA contradicts the obligations between parties under existing agreements, including the TRIPS Agreement”.

After four paragraphs of vigorous endorsement (and one other), the last two paragraphs of the DEVE draft fittingly note development concerns regarding the legitimate trade in generic medicines and access to medicines.


Update 23 January 2012: La Quadrature du Net has now blogged about ACTA in the European Parliament both in English and in French.

Update 2, 23 January 2012: European Digital Rights (EDRi) has published a critical assessment of the (DEVE committee) draft opinion regarding ACTA.


Ralf Grahn