Three committees in the European Parliament have rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) yesterday (31 May), in what some MEPs described as the last nail in the coffin for the controversial agreement.
The Civil Liberties, Industry and the Legal Affairs committees in the European Parliament all rejected ACTA in separate opinions adopted yesterday (31 May).
The Trade Committee, which has the lead on the dossier, is scheduled to give its opinion on ACTA on 21 June, paving the way for a vote in plenary before the summer recess, where a growing number of MEPs appear ready to kill the agreement.
In its opinion, the Civil Liberties Committee said ACTA failed to respect the EU's fundamental rights while the Industry Committee said it fails to balance intellectual property rights, business freedom, protection of personal data and the freedom to receive or provide information.
The separate motions were passed by 36 votes to one (with 21 abstentions) in the Civil Liberties Committee, by 31 votes to 25 in the Industry Committee and by a slim margin of 12 votes to 10 (with two abstentions) in the Legal Affairs Committee.
The votes marked a polarisation in Parliament on ACTA, with the Socialists and Democrats, the Greens and the Liberals teaming against the agreement against the centre-right European Peoples Party (EPP), which acted as a supporter of the agreement.
Marielle Gallo, a French centre-right MEP (EPP) whose draft opinion endorsing ACTA for the the Legal Affairs Committee was rejected, distanced herself from the vote's outcome. A new opinion reflecting the committee's position will now be drafted by Evelyn Regner MEP (Socialists & Democrats, Austria).