British MEP Tapped to Inspect Text of ACTA

David Martin, a British MEP from the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) party, has been asked to draw up the European Parliament's opinion on ACTA, after French Socialist MEP Kader Arif quit the position in protest of the lack of transparency related to ACTA's progress in the European Union Parliament.

"I want the Parliament to have a facts-based discussion and not a debate around myths," Martin said in a statement. "That is why I want to have an open debate with all concerned.”

He went on to say that ACTA was designed to be about better enforcement of existing copyright and intellectual property laws through international co-operation. He added that it "should not change existing European law in this area." Martin said he would examine the text and take legal advice from the European Court of Justice.

The European Parliament has to approve the agreement before it can become international law, with a vote expected by sometime in June. The treaty faces opposition from many countries in the EU, thanks mostly to media coverage and worldwide protests.

The European Parliament's international trade committee plans to hold its first discussion on ACTA February 23. They are also organizing a public workshop on March 1 to discuss ACTA. Hopefully this "public workshop" will actually be open and not conducted secretly behind closed doors.

Source: European Voices

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