Erik stumbled upon this, the Commissioners deliberation about ACTA.
The PRESIDENT thanked Mr DE GUCHT, Ms REDING, Ms KROES and Mr BARNIER for their comments. As time was short because of the imminent arrival of H.E. Mr Demetris Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus, he decided the debate on ACTA would be continued at a future meeting of the Commission. Nevertheless, he noted that all Members agreed on the principle of referring the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the agreement’s compatibility with the treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. There was also agreement on the mandate to be given to Mr DE GUCHT to explore with the other institutions the possibility of joint action with regard to the Court of Justice.
Do you see the trick? The Commissioner De Gucht attempts to lead the ECJ Court cases of the member states. I wouldn’t trust De Gucht and the Trade directorate a second given their past stewardship of the dossier. But you never know how Parliament and Council arrange themselves.
[the President Barroso] therefore felt that the Court of Justice of the European Union should be asked to confirm the Commission’s position in this matter, namely that ACTA was consistent and compatible with the Treaties and with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. He suggested that that day’s discussion should consider that point, but also the question of when would be an appropriate time to refer the matter to the Court, and the possibility of consulting Parliament and the Council with a view to adopting a common approach in this matter.
The PRESIDENT felt in addition that the discussion should also look at the lessons to be learned from this experience and how the Commission could best anticipate and deal with such situations in the future. Although the Commission had provided the necessary technical assistance and information
throughout the negotiations and the conclusion of ACTA — thus ensuring that the process was completely transparent — it now found itself the focus of criticism for every possible negative aspect of the agreement.
He referred in this connection to the deafening silence from other interested parties — industry and creative artists in general — who would benefit from ACTA. He expressed regret that some groups and organisations were today completely absent from the public debate on an international agreement which was broadly to their advantage, when they had been able in the past to take part in campaigns to defend their interests vis-à-vis the Commission.
Finally, the PRESIDENT expressed the hope that the discussion would also touch upon the more general question of the Commission’s relations with the other institutions and the Member States, when the Commission was left with the task of defending single-handedly the final outcome of negotiations which they had all taken part in and supported.
Barnier wants to change the Commission’s communication policy:
Mr BARNIER was also of the opinion that the key role of social networks in public debate in Europe forced the Commission to think carefully about adapting some of its means of communication and that Members should discuss the matter as soon possible.