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‘End of the Road’ for ACTA in Europe

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: December 20, 2012 Last Updated: December 22, 2012
Related articles: World » International
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Members of the European Parliament hold placards reading 'Hello democracy - goodbye ACTA' as they take part in a vote on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Strasbourg, France, on July 4. (Frederick Florin/AFP/GettyImages)

Members of the European Parliament hold placards reading 'Hello democracy -- goodbye ACTA' as they take part in a vote on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Strasbourg, France, on July 4. (Frederick Florin/AFP/GettyImages)

The controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, which was broadly rejected by the European Parliament earlier this year, had a final nail driven into its coffin: the European Commission has reportedly dropped its plans to get it confirmed by the European Court of Justice.

The European Commission, which is Europe’s executive body, said that there is “no realistic chance” that the trade agreement would be adopted in Europe, reported The Register.

In July, European parliamentarians rejected the treaty following Europe-wide demonstrations. There were concerns that the bill would impose harsher new restrictions that target all Internet users, not just people who engage in counterfeiting and piracy.

According to the website ZDNet, Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said that he would consider reintroducing ACTA to the European Court of Justice, which is Europe’s highest court. But with the European Commission’s decision, that will likely not take place.

“I welcome this news from the Commission today,” European Parliament Member David Martin said in a statement.

“The EU cannot be party to an agreement without European Parliament ratification. MEPs overwhelmingly rejected ACTA in July and I am pleased that the Commission has acknowledged this is the end of the road for ACTA in the EU thanks to the Parliament,” he said.

President of the Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament said in a statement, “It is about time that the Commission realized that ACTA was wrong.”

“It was the best decision, because the European Parliament’s vote last July had already made it a dead end for ACTA.”

Other than the EU, the United States—which was one of the driving forces behind the treaty—has not signed it yet. Japan is currently the only country that has given its final approval on ACTA.

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