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So here is a new ACTA related document:

Document Number: 17779/09
Title: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Content: (!) N/A
Interinstitutional File:
Subject Matter: DROIPEN 166
PI 146
WTO 283
Document Category:
Originator:
Addressee:
Document Date: 23-12-2009
Date of Meeting: 12-01-2010
Archive Date: 10-01-2010
Document Language: EN

How do you request it? Very simple, fill out the form and enter the document number 17779/09 as the document you request. Then the Council secretariat has 15 days to respond, either it would grant you access or submit the reasons for refusal.

Here is stops for most persons. You have again 15 days for a “confirmatory application”. When the confirmatory application is denied you can complain to the EU-Ombudsman or sue the Commission.

The document above looks to me like the draft for the answer to a parliament question.

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Quick and hasty update. Today I finally got an answer from the European Commission concerning my confirmatory request for document access. As expected it was denied. Basically I contested several arguments and the reply did not get much into details. For quite some time I am interested in document access regulation and the tricky questions on how to draw the line.

As a result of my request, a document was “released”. A few days ago the FFII association launched a twitter joke related to that document:

#Commission unveils #ACTA criminal enforcement chapter http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/09/st14/st14696-ex01.en09.pdf #fail

From a mere citizen perspective in a liberal-democratic order I feel slightly scared by the secrecy and policy laundry from DG Trade. It explains why TRIPs as a trade process was a very dangerous precedent. A huge scandal is characterized by the amount of complaints. Can there be a scandal without notice and uproar? We don’t have a good phrase for the silent case. While the interested public now pays closer attention to ACTA it is of course all negotiated in parallel with bilateral talks, for instance the Korea-EU Trade Agreement comprises ACTA provisions. The usurpation of legislature by trade administration is a generic weakness of our order. Strange how the Commission is able to negotiate with third nations over related criminal provisions while there are no criminal provisions on the matter in the acquis communautaire. In the Council the member states fail to get common grounds on a proposed IPRED2 directive with criminal provisions.

Translated from my eurochinese: As there is no “EU criminal law”, the European Commission has probably technically no competence for the matter. While the corresponding EU-legislative project remains stalled because of EU member states dissent in the Council, the European Commission negotiates the same legislative aspects with nations outside the EU, trying to reach an agreement which would also bind EU legislators.

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