[A2k] Fwd: [Hub] Letter to President Barroso on ACTA

Erik Josefsson erik.hjalmar.josefsson at gmail.com
Wed Feb 29 08:16:26 PST 2012

Letter with link:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[Hub] Letter to President Barroso on ACTA
Date: 	Wed, 29 Feb 2012 17:00:41 +0100
From: 	JOSEFSSON Erik <erik.josefsson%europarl.europa.eu at act-on-acta.eu>
To: 	<hub at act-on-acta.eu>

Please find attached a letter from Greens/EFA Co-Presidents sent today
to President Barroso on ACTA. Verbatim copy below.

Best regards


José Manuel Barroso
European Commission
Brussels, 29 February 2012

Re: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Dear Mr President,

We have learned through the media that the Commission intends to seek
the opinion of the Court of Justice on the compatibility of the ACTA
agreement with the Treaties.

While we welcome this decision, which our group has been calling for
ever since the content of the draft agreement was known well enough for
the request to be admissible, we do not accept the procedure chosen by
the Commission to inform Parliament, nor the timing of the referral.

As you know, Article 218(10) requires that Parliament be /immediately
and fully informed at all stages of a procedure/ relating to the
negotiation and conclusion of international agreements. A referral for
opinion to the Court is undoubtedly a rather important event in such a

Moreover, the Framework Agreement, which establishes the modus operandi
for good and loyal cooperation between our institutions is, as you know,
quite explicit as regards the communication of important decisions by
the Commission to Parliament, stating (para 13) that the /Commission
shall not make public any significant initiative or decision before
notifying Parliament thereof in writing/. We would ask you to do this,
even if it now will be retrospective.

At this stage we do not even know whether ACTA has already been referred
to the Court, nor do we have any information about the timetable
foreseen. We demand an explanation for why the Commission, which has had
full knowledge of ACTA, did not take this step at a much earlier stage,
even before its request to Council to sign the agreement?

For months the Commission has ignored the concerns now raised by, among
others, millions of citizens using their right to petition, the UN
Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the European
Data Protection Supervisor, prominent European academics and several
civil society groups.

Bearing in mind that the Council has just requested Parliament's consent
on the agreement, on the basis of which it has started its own
procedures, we also wonder about the precise timing of the Commission's
referral. Coordination and communication are also to this end, as you
know, key elements in the Framework Agreement.

We very much hope that the Commission will ask the Court to assess
whether ACTA strikes the right balance between, on the one hand,
intellectual property rights and, on the other, the right to private
life, the right to the protection of personal data, freedom of
expression and the freedom to receive or impart information, the right
to protection of property and the freedom to conduct a business, both
inside the Union and in external action and, more generally, with
respect to the Union's obligations concerning support for democracy and
the rule of law in international relations and compliance with Art. 208
TFEU on policy coherence for development.

The Commission should invite the Court to include in its assessment the
elements of the acquis which implement and give substance to fundamental
rights and basic freedoms of the Union.

We will seek to ensure that the European Parliament uses its own powers
to request the Court to assess the above-mentioned questions and the
other outstanding economic and political issues raised by the agreement.

In the light of these elements, we will request your attendance at the
next plenary session to debate your strategy on ACTA with the European



Rebecca Harms          Daniel Cohn-Bendit

Co-Presidents Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament

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