Meeting on ACTA, Friday 15 June at 3pm, IIEA, Dublin
In this meeting jointly organised by the IIEA and the European Parliament Office in Ireland, Scottish MEP David Martin will be outlining the nature of the debate within the European Parliament on the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an international trade agreement aimed at tackling violations of Intellectual Property Rights.
David Martin is the European Parliament's rapporteur on ACTA, on which the European Parliament will be voting in July. Several EP committees have already recommended its rejection and, if the Parliament as a whole does not give its consent, the entire EU would have to stay out of the agreement.
Location: Institute of International and European Affairs, 8 North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1
Tel (01) 8746756 Fax (01) 8786880
To register, please reply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating you wish to attend the Martin event.
About the Speaker:
David Martin is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade, as well as a member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and a substitute member on the Constitutional Affairs Committtee. He was also Vice Chairman of the Socialist Group in 1987, Vice President of the European Parliament for five years, from 1989, and subsequently Senior Vice President of the European Parliament with special responsibility for relations with national parliaments and parliaments of constitutional regional committees.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has proved to be controversial ever since it was first proposed. The agreement is aimed at more effectively enforcing intellectual property rights on an international level. Many developed countries worry that their economies suffer great damage due to counterfeiting and piracy. OECD estimated in 2005 that international trade in counterfeit and pirated products amounted to $200 billion, excluding digital products. However, opponents are concerned that it will favour large companies' interests at the expense of citizens' rights. The European Parliament has received a petition with over 2 million signatures calling for its rejection and for "a free and open Internet".
In December 2011 the EU Member States authorised the signature of ACTA, but it now needs to be ratified by the Member States and by the European Parliament. If they do not ratify the agreement ACTA cannot apply to the EU, or to any individual Member States, although ACTA will still come into force among other countries if ratified by 6 other signatories.
The European Parliament's lead committee on ACTA - the International Trade Committee - will be voting on 21 June, and Parliament as a whole is expected to vote on ACTA at its July plenary session. The Parliament's Civil Liberties and Development Committees have already voted heavily against the agreement, and much narrower but also negative votes have taken place in the Legal Affairs and Industry Committees