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Archive for July, 2010

In der gewohnten Knappheit des Ministeriums:

Im Jahr 2006 hat die Bundesregierung als Teil des Regierungsprogramms “Zukunftsorientierte
Verwaltung durch Innovationen” eine Strategie für den Ausbau von E-Government in der
Bundesverwaltung beschlossen: das Programm E-Government 2.0.

http://www.CIO.bund.de/SharedDocs/Kurzmeldungen/DE/2010/100726_abschlussbericht_egovernment_2_0.html

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In September European Parliament plenary a Commission statement on ACTA is scheduled:

Ongoing negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) Commission statement [2010/2786(RSP)]

It appears Commissioner De Gucht found out recently what technical difficulties are inside the ACTA package.

In response to a few requests let me add the following talking points:

  • Moving ACTA to WIPO or WTO: In  our jargon we call such a demand a “poison pill”. An innocent reasonable demand which demonstrates a problem underlying the process and is unacceptable for its proponents. ACTA is about forum shopping on purpose. ACTA emerged because WTO and WIPO are blocked. Yet, an international treaty of that kind needs to be administered.
  • ACTA transparency deal: The EU negotiators are “suggested” by the EU treaties and the Venice Convention to keep the negotiations in the open. If the Commission feels unable to disclose the text European lawmakers would close the transparency interpretation loophole. In any case leaks would ensure transparency. Interestingly the European Ombudsman defended the Commission conduct. Either the Commission will adhere to legal transparency requirements or it shall leave the negotiations. My rationale demonstrates why US anti-transparency blackmail rumors attributed to Luc Devigne  are unrealistic. ACTA without the EU does not make sense.
  • Luc Devigne pulled. “Apparently Luc Devigne is out as head #acta negotiator for EU” twittered Jamie. But he corrected his message. I don’t think another person in the Commission would want to bet his career on the dossier, and you cannot replace an experienced negotiator as Devigne. Devigne is a smart administrative activist. You may disagree with his premises but you also don’t know his hidden agenda. As the numbers don’t add we have to speculate about the Commission’s objectives in a larger negotiation context. ACTA may not fly, but what if it was never intended to fly?

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The Social Democrat group

Mr De Gucht today held a one-hour discussion with members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs at the European Parliament. But S&D MEPs said there could be no serious debate since members do not know the content of the negotiations.

EP vice president and S&D member Stavros Lambrinidis said: “It is unacceptable that the latest document is not available for this debate and that it will be accessible only at a later stage in a closed room. It was therefore impossible for us to have a serious discussion about the state of the play on ACTA negotiations.

“The European Parliament has co-decision powers for trade agreements and it should be informed at all stages of the negotiation. If the negotiators have nothing to hide, they should have nothing to fear about making the document available to the public.”

Dutch Vrijschrift added an allegation of ‘misinformation’:

The European Parliament LIBE committee ACTA hearing last Tuesday took an unexpected turn when Commissioner De Gucht said that there will not be a definition of commercial scale in ACTA. Member of Parliament Lambrinidis then asked for confirmation that the definition was out. De Gucht confirmed this. […]

Since then, the new text leaked. This text does contain a definition of commercial scale on page 15. […] In fact, the bracketed text shows the EU contributed to the new definition.

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