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?