[Ip-health] Secret vote on ACTA?

ante ante at ffii.org
Mon Jun 18 15:24:49 PDT 2012

Secret vote on ACTA?
with links

June 16, 2012
By Ante

According to Marietje Schaake, member of the European Parliament’s 
International Trade committee (INTA), there is a rumor that there will be a 
request for a secret vote on ACTA. See her tweet.

First we had the INTA committee keeping the legal service’s opinion on ACTA 
secret. After the Legal Affairs committee decided to publish it, the Chairman 
of the INTA committee made it secret again.

Then Commissioner De Gucht invited himself to the INTA committee, to address 
the committee just before the ACTA vote. It is unclear whether members of the 
Parliament will be allowed to speak after De Gucht.

And now we may even have a secret vote on ACTA. After years of secrecy, a 
secret committee vote?

The vote will take place on 21 June.

Update: Secret ballots are possible under EP Rules of Procedure 196 in 
combination with RoP 169. It takes one-fifth of the component Members.

169.2: “Voting may also be by secret ballot if this is requested by at least 
one-fifth of the component Members of Parliament. Such requests must be made 
before voting begins.

When a request for a secret ballot is submitted by at least one fifth of the 
component Members of Parliament before voting begins, Parliament must hold 
such a vote.”

Secret ballots are very unusual, except for appointments.

Updates, not on the blog yet: 

1. I heard that Commissioner De Gucht can address the INTA committee on 
Wednesday, not Thursday. So not just before the vote, but the day before. 

It is not on the agenda (yet).

2. A small majority of groups are against ACTA. Proponents of ACTA may hope 
that a secret ballot may dilute group discipline, with a report recommending 
adoption of ACTA as result.

More information about the Ip-health mailing list