ACTA Committee Defeat: Europeans Celebrate a ‘Victory for European Democracy’Submitted by PWA on Fri, 06/22/2012 - 00:44
It was building up for weeks, but after ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) was defeated by the European International Trade (INTA) committee, it became clear Europeans won a key battle over the agreement in the lead-up to the final vote in the European Parliament. Now, many are celebrating what one called a “victory for European democracy.
Even before the big committee vote, a moderator for a vidcast on the European parliament website commented that the level of interest for European politics was unlike anything he had ever seen. The one thing all panelists seem to agree on was that whether you were for or against ACTA, the level of participation and interest on the debate was very healthy. It’s not clear what was going through the voting committee members minds during the vote, but it must have been difficult to ignore the fact that the whole world was watching this key vote that could either slow opposition for ACTA or further add momentum for a final defeat in the European Parliament. I know I was certainly one of the many individuals that did tune in to the live video feed hoping to catch the vote live before time zones got the better of me and I had to find out the results later on.
Now, we know the results. The final vote was 19 to 12 to recommend defeating ACTA. The Open Rights Group documented a blow-by-blow account of what happened during the committee:
As with previous committees, there was once again some drama involved (in the unlikely setting of a European Parliament committee room). Before the vote on MEP Martin’s opinion, amendments 1 and 2, which said the committee should recommend ACTA is supported, were withdrawn. MEPs then voted 19-12 against Syed Kamall MEP’s amendment, which would have seen the ‘plenary’ European Parliament vote delayed.