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23 September 2021
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have voted to reject the controversial Acta designed to provide better global
protection for intellectual property. This
means it is unlikely the EU will approve the treaty in its current form, and
means that it is doubtful that the agreement, which the US strongly supports,
will ever come into force.
is the first time the European parliament has used its Lisbon treaty powers to
reject an international trade agreement, but the commission could still push
for a revival of Acta if it secures a court decision in its favour.
voted 478 against, 39 in favour, with 165 abstentions, amid fears that the
treaty could be used to restrict internet freedom leading to the mobilisation
of broad support across Europe, including protests across a number of cities.
Parliament president Martin Schulz said that the vote against Acta was not a
vote against the protection of intellectual property, saying the rejection
stemmed from the treaty being "too vague, leaving room for abuses".
campaigners, who secured 2.8 million signatures for an online petition to
reject the law, have called the decision a victory for European democracy and
civil society. Anti-Acta activists had complained that negotiations for the
treaty had taken place largely behind closed doors, with leaked drafts being
the only real access the public had to the text of the agreement, reports the
commission is still waiting for a European court decision on Acta's legality,
but the court's ruling is unlikely to make a difference, with Brussels
officials reportedly already working on an EU intellectual property rights
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