Just got this press release from my colleagues from Quadrature du Net:
ACTA: The EU Parliament Must Face Its Political Responsibility
Brussels, March 26th, 2012 – Today is the beginning of a decisive week for the future of the ACTA procedure in the EU Parliament. Tomorrow, Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) may decide whether to vote on ACTA in the next few months as originally planned, or to follow the rapporteur David Martin in buying time and defusing the ongoing debate through technocratic manoeuvres. … Whereas the EU Commission has already announced that it will refer ACTA to the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) to assess its compatibility with EU Treaties and fundamental rights in order to buy time, the ACTA rapporteur in the EU Parliament, MEP David Martin (S&D, UK) is pushing the same strategy. He has proposed that the “International Trade” committee (INTA) draft an “interim report”  before recommending consent or rejection of ACTA, and that the EU Parliament make its own referral of ACTA to the ECJ (which has already been strongly opposed by his own political group). As La Quadrature explains in a memo  sent to MEPs, both initatives must be dismissed. Both the interim report and an ECJ referral are useless, and will only serve to delay the final vote, considering ACTA proponents think the agreement would be rejected, were the Parliament to vote on it in the coming months.
Of course a swift rejection would be more clear cut. What Quadrature overlooks is that while there is a referral to the Court the European Parliament cannot vote on it, Parliament cannot do anything. And when Parliament does not join the case via Article 219(11) TFEU how could it make the Court consider its own issues and prerogatives? I can’t see why a interim report would be harmful as it keeps the debate going and won’t have any effect on a prolongation of the process.
LQDN demonstrates that their voting expectations do not depend upon the ECJ rerferral but their procedural input is quite a bit confusing. I had some strange artefacts in my DSL connection and then found out the ethernet cable between the router and the splitter was broken. You could argue that LQDN add some fog of war and inserted confusion in the process. I just wonder if MEPs would switch to a different cable. If you dismiss the current proposed procedures of the rapporteur David Martin as “delay” tactics what’s the actual alternative for Parliament?