The European Parliament's International Trade Committee
on Wednesday decided against referring
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to the
European Court of Justice for a ruling on its legality.
A proposal to recommend that the European Parliament
should refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
(ACTA) to the EU Court of Justice was rejected by the
International Trade Committee, with 21 MEPs against , 5
in favour and 2 abstentions.
"The decision on ACTA is a political one and Parliament
should keep control over its agenda," argued some
Rapporteur David Martin (S&D, UK), had asked the
committee to vote on the question due to a perceived lack
of support from other political groups within the House.
He also said that if the committee decided not to proceed
with the referral recommendation, he would withdraw his
initial proposal to prepare an interim report with
questions to the European Commission and EU Member States
on what steps they would take to implement ACTA.
After the vote, Mr Martin said he would adhere to the
previously agreed timetable for parliament's
recommendation on whether to say yes or no to ACTA.
Under the proposed ACTA deal, a country may "order an
online service provider to disclose expeditiously to a
right holder information sufficient to identify a
subscriber whose account was allegedly used for
infringement." Anti-ACTA activists said that this would
be tantamount to forcing ISPs to become the unofficial
police of the Internet.
It was this fear that prompted a widespread Stop ACTA
campaign that saw thousands of protesters take to the
streets across Europe in recent months and caused many
E.U. member states to delay or rule-out ratification,
despite signing the deal individually in Japan in
According to the previously agreed timetable, at the next
committee meeting, on 25-26 April Mr Martin will present
his recommendation as to whether EP should say yes or no
The final International Trade Committee vote is scheduled
for 29-30 May, and Parliament as a whole is to vote on
the issue at its June plenary session.