THE ENTERTAINMENT CARTELS' LETTER TO SANTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will be discussed in public by the European Union (EU) Parliament next month.
The recurring issue with the ACTA treaty is the fact that no parties other than rights holders that seemingly will gain the most from it were involved in its negotiation or knew anything about it until after it was signed.
Several EU countries have distanced themselves from ACTA, while others have refused to sign it, and the European MP responsible for guiding its negotiation resigned over it.
A statement posted on the European Parliament web site says that public hearings involving five European Parliament Committees will be held at the start of next month. After that a committee will decide whether the European Parliament should approve ACTA or not.
"ACTA will be discussed in public in the European Parliament Committee for International Trade for the first time on 1 March. It is this committee which will make a formal recommendation to the full house on whether or not to approve ACTA," it says.
"Parliament cannot amend the agreement, but only approve or reject it. If it does not give its consent, then the agreement falls as far as the EU is concerned."
The statement adds that under two EU Treaty articles, 207 and 218, most international agreements such as ACTA "need Parliament's consent to enter into force". µ