According to recently leaked documents, the EU plans to use the Canada – EU Trade Agreement (CETA), which is nearing its final stages of negotiation, as a backdoor mechanism to implement the ACTA provisions.
The EU – Canada trade agreement (CETA) contains the same draconian civil and criminal measures as ACTA, see [Canadian law professor] Michael Geist. He recommends: “With anti-ACTA sentiment spreading across Europe, Canada should push to remove the intellectual property chapter from CETA altogether.” I agree completely: trade agreements and IP regulations have to be disentangled.
The European Treaties, however, provide for this loophole which was created for the WTO TRIPs agreement. I agree with Ante Wessels that the Article 207 process should not be used for bypassing national and European legislators. While the European Parliament disagreed with the adoption of measures in ACTA, De Gucht’s administration has other bilateral agreements in the pipeline to the same ends. They deserve the watchful eyes of concerned parties.
The February negotiations document shows the broadness of provisions and the greater degree of explicit legislative interventions compared to ACTA.
I would recommend the European Parliament to reach an inter-institutional agreement with the Commission how to proceed in the Article 207 process with a view to preserve the legislative prerogatives of Parliament.