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Dutch Pirate Party says ACTA decision is too little too late

Should have acted to stop ACTA months ago
Wed May 30 2012, 16:39
People are being encouraged to stop ACTA

TODAY WE LEARNED that the Dutch Parliament came out against the draconian ACTA treaty, but its motives have been questioned and its timing dismissed as electioneering.

After the announcement the Dutch Pirate Party told The INQUIRER that the parliament's action is rather too late and smacks of populist approval seeking.

"On the one hand we are happy that parliament finally seems to recognise the threats that ratification of ACTA would pose to Dutch citizens as well as to the Dutch innovative industries. It can be considered a win in that respect," said board member and party spokesperson Dirk Poot.

"On the other hand it is too little too late, and must be seen in the light of the coming elections rather than as a sign that the old school politicians are finally seeing the light. The same parties that now proudly boast of 'stopping ACTA in the Netherlands' are the same parties that have worked tirelessly to get ACTA pushed beyond the control of the Dutch parliament."

Poot said that the time to act was last November, because that would have halted ACTA from being adopted by the European Union.

"It is sad to note that at the time Christian Democrats, CDA, and the neo-liberal leaning former liberal Party for Freedom and Democracy, VVDm managed to goad the populist Party for Fredom, PVV, into handing minister Verhagen carte blanche to enable the signing of the treaty by the EU," he said.

"The motion adopted yesterday is therefore mainly for the spectators and the electorate. The Netherlands' fate is now entirely contingent upon what the European Parliament will be deciding the coming weeks."

Poot said that ACTA could still be approved, despite appearances, and could "still be forced on us if enough other European countries bowing to the inevitable pressure from the US to ratify".

"The Netherlands by itself would never be able to withstand the immense pressure to be one of the few non-ratifying countries," he added. "This would then open the way for the main proponents of ACTA in the Netherlands, Verhagen en Teeven, to claim that ACTA is inevitable."

"The PVV has been playing both sides of the game by publicly denouncing ACTA when it was 'safe' to do so, but by making way for ACTA at every step of the way when they could have actually done something to stop ACTA."

Poot did have something positive to say about the parliament's recommendations about ACTA, explaining that it has "totally rejected earlier claims about ACTA being a harmless little treaty that would have no effect whatsoever on European and Dutch law".

He said that local proponents have lost the support from their parties on this point, adding that this made earlier reassurances "unreliable and untrue".

With this in mind, he added that if ACTA is adopted by the European Union (EU), then the Pirate Party will request a parliamentary enquiry. µ


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