A recommendation made last week by the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee (INTA) that the Parliament should reject ACTA is a disappointment to Europe’s creative, innovative and manufacturing sectors, which employ over 120 million people across Europe and depend on intellectual property to support and grow their businesses.
More than 130 organisations representing the breadth of European industry have urged the European Parliament to wait for the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) before taking a final decision on the Treaty. A vote to follow the INTA recommendation and to reject ACTA now would be to ignore the voices of industry, unions, employees, the Commission, the Council and Member States. ACTA should be given careful and responsible consideration before a decision that will have significant effects on the EU’s trade relationships and economy.
“The majority of jobs in our knowledge-based societies rely on intellectual property. Counterfeiting and piracy, including on the Internet, are creating a global black market threatening the economic basis of real jobs in the creative industries. It’s a global problem that needs a global response. We need a tool like ACTA to improve international cooperation in IPR protection,” says Johannes Studinger, Head of UNI MEI.”
“If Parliament should reject ACTA, it will send a negative signal to Europe’s trading partners and to investors around the globe, especially since much of the debate to date has been fuelled by unfounded rumour and misinformation. We would urge MEPs to restore balance and honesty to the debate. Contrary to what its opponents have claimed, ACTA will not curtail fundamental rights, will not lead to Internet censorship, will not endanger the health of millions and will not criminalise file-sharing. ACTA is about fighting commercial scale counterfeiting and piracy, which will ultimately protect Europe’s economy and citizens,” says Jeffrey Hardy, Director for ICC’s initiative Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP).
“Rejecting ACTA would both damage the international image (and credibility) of Europe and its institutions vis-à-vis its main external trading partners, and completely jeopardise the economic and legal interests of EU companies and citizens. Our textile and clothing industry considers that it would be a more enlightened and fair decision to postpone any plenary vote until the European Court of Justice ruling, as previously proposed by sceptical MEPs and, in the meantime, to work on the clarification of this agreement regarding its potential impacts on citizens,” says Alberto Paccanelli, President of EURATEX, CEO and Managing Director of Martinelli Ginetto Group.
“ECTA supports ACTA as a cornerstone in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy and in order to protect the creative and knowledge-based industries in the EU and beyond,” states Marius Schneider, chair of the ECTA Anti-counterfeiting Committee.