The European Commission is going to ask the EU’s highest court to assess whether ACTA is incompatible with the EU’s fundamental rights – such as freedom of expression and information, protections of personal information and intellectual property.
“I’m confident that there is nothing wrong with ACTA, not at all, that it is a fine treaty, and that it will protect our intellectual property… We don’t have oil and gas, we don’t have the minerals in our soil, we can only take out of the soil what is in the soil. What we really have is our intellectual property, so we should be anxious to protect this,” Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht said yesterday (22 February).
The development took place following the mobilisation of civil society throughout the EU against ACTA and with several governments announcing that they would freeze the ratification until the European Parliament takes a position. There appears to be widespread opposition to the treaty In Parliament.
“In recent weeks, the ratification process of ACTA has triggered a Europe-wide debate on ACTA, the freedom of the internet and the importance of protecting Europe’s intellectual property for our economies,” De Gucht said.
The Commissioner said he shared people’s concern for these fundamental freedoms and on what ACTA will really mean for them. However, he deplored the “misinformation or rumour” about ACTA that has spread through social media sites and blogs in recent weeks.