The Trade Commissioner-designate De Gucht will be grilled before the European Parliament INTA committee, Tuesday 12 January 9-12h. While the Council told me that ACTA was not about legislation the new. Commissioner De Gucht seems not aware the policies in his portfolio may relate to legislation within the meaning of Art 15(2) TFUE:
As regards legislation, several initiatives are being considered. The Lisbon Treaty has brought
enhanced EU competences for foreign investment. In this context, an early priority will be to work on legislation in this area designed to provide certainty for foreign investors – particularly as regards arrangements already put in place by Member States. In parallel with the conclusion of the FTA with Korea, we will need a Regulation on the implementation of the safeguard mechanism contained in this FTA. Finally, there is the review and renewal of the Generalised System of Preferences, for which the Commission should make a proposal in the course of the year. Alongside these important initiatives, we may also present various proposals of a technical nature, for example, linked to the resolution of WTO disputes or to implement changes to our trade regime resulting from earlier EU enlargements. I will personally see to it that this legislation is prepared in line with the Inter-institutional Agreement on Better Law-Making
The Korean FTA is a good example. What else than legislation is included in the IP chapter? De Gucht seems to be unaware of the problem that the trade portfolio is abused for “policy laundry”, and an international legislative process.