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ACTA ‘good as dead’ unless Brussels clears up misinformation – Simon Busuttil

Nationalist MEP criticises European Commission’s handling of ACTA

Matthew Vella
1 March 2012, 12:00am
Nationalist MEP Simon Busuttil
Nationalist MEP Simon Busuttil has 'chastised' the European Commission for its handling of the dossier on the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement.

In a statement, the MEP said that unless the Commission addresses its public communications strategy to explain ACTA thoroughly, the trade agreement was "as good as dead".

"The public debate on ACTA has been poisoned by sheer misinformation, by undue politicisation and by the failure of the European Commission to communicate the agreement properly," Busuttil said.

Busuttil, the EPP spokesperson for the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, supports ACTA and has warned the Commission that MEPs in the LIBE committee will vote against the agreement unless the EC addresses their concerns on internet safety and generic drugs trade.

Busuttil today participated in the first exchange of views on the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that was held in the European Parliament in Brussels.

He was among several MEPs who intervened in the debate following a presentation by EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

Busuttil stated that, in principle, he could only support an agreement that fights counterfeiting and piracy, as ACTA seeks to do. "However, the Commission had to first address serious concerns raised on the agreement with respect to civil liberties and possible restrictions on internet freedom," Busuttil said.

The MEP has criticised the Labour opposition's stand against ACTA, saying Labour "stuck out its tongue according to which direction the wind was blowing" while the PN's "responsible approach does not take political positions on the basis of what people would like to hear".

"Although this approach might cost us votes, I am sure that it will come across positively to those discerning voters."

Busuttil has said that any serious party cannot oppose an agreement against counterfeiting and piracy. "How can I say no to this and expect to attract investors, how can I say no to this and expect to protect thousands of jobs in Malta?"

But he has acknowledged the overwhelming discontent that reflects the fear that internet freedom would be restricted. The Prime Minister has, in the wake of protests against ACTA, decided to enshrine internet freedom as a civil right.

Matthew Vella is editor of MaltaToday.com.mt.

After graduating in a...

m borg
Didn't Simon say he would listen to the people ans act accordingly. Like his mentor his disrespect to the majority is unbelievreable. What he is saying about ACTA shows that he is outright in favour of it and this guy pretends to be gonzipn's next leader and then we'll end up with BuzuPN.GFY Simon we don't want Big Brother watching, just like we don't want a despot running our country.
Joe Borg
This is the same person who was in favour of giving america confidential information on EU citizens. A predictable Maltese politician - siding on the side of the highest bidder.
daniel li
Mr. Busuttil the only job you are protecting is yours.
Clockwork Orange
Dear Dr Busuttil, I thought that you were elected by the people to represent them and not the large corporations. Am I mistaken in this impression?
albert leone
"Busuttil has said that any serious party cannot oppose an agreement against counterfeiting and piracy " I certainly agree that a multi-lateral treaty which safeguards the right of all stakeholders is needed. However this is certainly not the case with the ACTA agreement concocted by a plurilateral group of countries driven by capitalist interests and big business. The non transparent way negotiations were transacted which excluded the majority of NGO's and world bodies which protect the consumer certainly justifies are full suspicion of its ulterior intentions. We already have a good framework for IPR in a WTO agreement TRIPS agreed in the uruguay rounds and made fully transparent in the DOHA agenda which takes into consideration a wider spetrum of interests of stakeholders especially in developing countries. That is why millions like me have signed a petition for the EU parliament to reject this ACTA agreement. No EU commissioner or Busuttil will convince those of us who have lived with the problems of IPR to support it. Incidentally The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are jointly organizing a two-week colloquium for teachers of intellectual property from developing countries and countries with economies in transition in Geneva in June 2012.
peppi x
Damage control exercise
eddy privitera
Simon, instead of criticizing Labour, why didn't you criticize your own government for having signed the ACTA agreement when so many things needed clarifiaction ???!!!Trying to imitate Lawrence Gonzi by blaming PL when the blame lies squarely at GonziPN's door, will downgrade your credibility to the low level of Lawrence Gonzi's !Is this the future PN leader ? He has already inherited the " blame Labour even when Labour is right " syndrome ! Eddy Privitera Eddy privitera
Norman Buckle
Issa wara li int u siehbek ivvutajtu favuriha u l-Kap tieghek tkellem kontra se toqoghdu tilghabu bil-kliem u twahhlu f' Joseph Muscat? Kemm qed tahsbuh bahnan il-poplu Malti? Ghax ma tghidux li int u siehbek ivvutajtu favuriha biex tilghaqu l-EPP u tippruvaw tinghogbu u ghax ma tghidux li l-id il-leminija ma tafx x'inhi taghmel ix-xellugija u bla direzzjoni?
Ramon Casha
It's only the misinformation and propaganda from the commission and those with a vested interest in ratifying ACTA that is keeping it barely alive. Once that misinformation is removed, ACTA will be dead - and I hope that next time people will be more careful about what's being done behind our backs.