The other three MEPs, the conservative Rothova, the liberal Alvaro and the socialist Castex, all made reference to the lack of a transparent democratic process, of the great threats to the right to privacy and how the US wanted to force this agreement on Europe. Alexander Alvaro from Germany said that "third party liability for internet servers is like making the post office responsible for what is written on the letters it sends". He added that all of the 40 industries that signed non-disclosure agreemnts for access to ACTA information were from the US and none from the European Union. Rothova slammed the democratic deficit of only being allowed to say yes or no at the end of the process "because just accepting or rejecting an agreement is not an exercise of democracy as put forth in the Lisbon Treaty." Castex made reference to the potential massive attack of ACTA on personal data and privacy in violation of EU law as backed up in a report published this week by the European Union´s Data Protection Supervisor.
If the written declaration is signed by the majority of EP members it will become the official opinion of the European Union´s elected representatives. This declaration needs to be physically signed by the majority of the Members of the European Parliament within three months.
Written declaration on the lack of a transparent process and potentially objectionable content concerning the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
The European Parliament,
– having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. Whereas the ongoing negotiations concerning the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
B. Whereas the co-decision role of the European Parliament in commercial matters and its access to negotiation documents guaranteed by the Lisbon Treaty,
1. Considers that the proposed agreement should not indirectly impose harmonisation of EU copyright, patent or trademark law. The principle of subsidiarity should be respected,
2. Declares that the Commission should immediately make all documents related to the ongoing negotiations publicly available.
3. Takes the view that the proposed agreement should not force limitations upon judicial due process nor weaken fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy.
4. Stresses that the evaluation of economic and innovation risks must take place prior to introducing criminal sanctions where civil measures are already in place.
5. Considers that Internet service providers should not bear liability for the data they transmit or host through their services to an extent that would imply prior surveillance or filtering of such data.
6. Points out that any measure aimed at strengthening powers for cross-border inspection and seizures of goods should not harm global access to legal, affordable and safe medicines.
7. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Commission, the Council and the parliaments of the Member States.
TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue