“Receiving a petition supported by more than 2 million people places an even bigger responsibility on us to listen to the European people and offer them a place to express their views to the European institutions”, said Petitions Committee chair Eminia Mazzoni (EPP, IT), after the petition was presented. The European Parliament has only just begun to consider the proposed ACTA deal. It will need to examine it carefully, taking all concerns into account, making a reasoned assessment of the facts and weighing Internet freedom on the one hand and the fight against counterfeiting on the other. The Petitions Committee will decide in the coming weeks how the petition is to be followed up.
The petition was presented by Alex Wilks, Pascal Vollenweider and Anne Agius, on behalf of Avaaz, an organisation which uses the Internet to campaign on various issues. It calls on the European Parliament “to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which would destroy it”.
The Petitions Committee will decide on the petition’s admissibility at its next meeting, on 19-20 March. If the petition is declared admissible (i.e. if it falls within the EU’s sphere of competence), the committee will then hold an open discussion with the petitioners, experts, the European Commission and other stakeholders. This would contribute to the public debate officially launched in the European Parliament this week (see below for list of ACTA events in the coming days). Here to read more.