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Velasco: ACTA only for WTO members

During the recent Civil Liberties Committee meeting (8 may) Pedro Velasco-Martins (Commission DG Trade) claimed that ACTA only targets WTO members as participating nations. I do not read that from the text of the agreement where it says prospecting nations. I do not see any provision which says that only WTO members are eligible to join.

He also admitted that ACTA leads to criminal harmonisation and Sweden is supposed to change its criminal laws. Here we have to keep in mind that criminal enforcement laws are not harmonised within the EU acquis. Thus, with ACTA the Commission supports a conduct disloyal to the European Parliament prerogatives: harmonisation with third nations without a direct involvement of the European Parliament.

Velasco-Martins also quotes the TRIPs agreement as a reference which predates the current EU framework. We find interesting legal questions associated with the TRIPS agreement, e.g. whether it is “directly executive”, its premises of trade-relation, and its competence-reserved adoption by the EU. Finally invoking also raises the important question why WTO members do not reform TRIPs instead. The answer is lack of consent within WTO to move forward with TRIPs+. Coalitions of the willing (governing ACTA) are less appropriate practices of international trade relations.

Video recording of the meeting

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