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Parliament must carefully listen to citizens concerns over ACTA


16 Feb 2012



 The Liberal and Democrat group in the European Parliament last night held a thorough discussion on the proposed ACTA agreement aimed at combating counterfeiting and protecting intellectual property rights.

Concluding the debate, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader said:

"Given the enormous level of interest and widespread concerns from large sections of society, Parliament would be remiss not to take its duty of scrutiny very seriously. The Contracting Parties have so far failed to communicate effectively the added value of this agreement and assuage public concerns as regards some of its provisions."

"The ALDE group welcomes the engagement of citizens in a genuine debate on the agreement. We share many of their concerns, namely the protection of privacy, access to generic medicines in developing countries, internet freedom and have doubts about the overall effectiveness of a 'catch-all' agreement that does not include the countries that are the main source of counterfeit goods."

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

"We will work with the Commission and the Member States in order to clarify these legitimate fears which touch on fundamental values of the European Union. There can be no room for error."

"A referral of the ACTA Agreement to the Court of Justice could be useful in clarifying these matters."

"The fight against international counterfeiting and updating IPR rules is vital for fair trade but the European Parliament has to carefully consider whether current legislation is sufficient and what is the added value of an agreement like ACTA which applies the same rules both to manufactured and digital goods."

For more information, please contact:

Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84



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