The political groups that voted against ACTA were the European United Left/ Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Group and the Green Group, both of which had opposed ACTA from the outset, the ALDE group (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group (EFD) and the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S+D).
The majority of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) supported ACTA.
Protest against ACTA at the Dail
“The agreement will now be voted on in the plenary session of the European Parliament in July. If there is a major mobilisation again of people, with protests, petitions and the continuation of the bombardment of MEPs with emails, ACTA can be defeated and an important blow struck against the big business agenda of the European Commission.”, says Paul Murphy.
The Commissioner for International Trade, Karl De Gucht an outspoken defender of neo-liberalism, addressed the International Trade Committee on the eve of the vote in an attempt to convince the members of the Committee to at least postpone its vote until the European Court of Justice has given a verdict on ACTA. The European Commission – under pressure from the mass movements against ACTA – had referred ACTA to the European Court of Justice for it to decide whether ACTA is compatible with European Law. This strategy that was mainly aimed at gaining time, postponing the vote and demobilising the anti-ACTA movement.
His speech was entitled “making the right choice”. However, the Commissioner also made it very clear that in case the Members of Parliament do not make the ‘right’ choice, the Commission will address the issue of defending intellectual property rights in a different way.
He outlined the following strategy for the European Commission:
” If you decide for a negative vote before the European Court rules, let me tell you that the Commission will nonetheless continue to pursue the current procedure before the Court, as we are entitled to do. A negative vote will not stop the proceedings before the Court of Justice.
If the Court questions the conformity of the agreement with the Treaties we will assess at that stage how this can be addressed.”