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ALDE Urges ACTA Parties to clarify whether or not it is binding on signatories


28 Feb 2012



On a visit to Washington, the Presidency of the Liberal and Democrat Group in the European Parliament met with US Senator Ron Wyden, chair of the Trade Sub-Committee, to discuss the controversial intellectual property agreement ACTA. During the meeting, the Senator discussed his efforts to establish whether ACTA will be a binding international agreement in the United States or not.

Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader in the European Parliament, said:

"We have been following the ACTA negotiations in the European Parliament for several months now and the European Commission has always maintained that ACTA would be binding in its provisions on the European Union and the other signatories, including the USA. However, Senator Wyden has updated us that the US government maintains that it will not be seeking Congressional consent for the agreement and nor is it clear that ACTA will be binding in the USA."

"If a major ACTA signatory like the USA does not clarify whether ACTA is binding, this transforms the parameters of the public debate. If ACTA enters into force, it has to equally bind all of its signatories or risk undermining its credibility".

Niccolò Rinaldi (Italia dei Valori), ALDE spokesperson on ACTA agreement added:

"We welcomed the decision of the European Commission to address public concerns by sending ACTA to the ECJ to verify its conformity with EU fundamental rights. However, this is not the end of the story and we do not want to see the EU at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis the USA if it decides to ratify ACTA. Therefore, we urge the Commission to confirm with its US counterparts whether they share a common view that ACTA is, indeed, a binding international treaty".

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