The European Parliament rejected on 4 July the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the parliament's rapporteur on the subject, David Martin, welcomed the decision, saying it “was the biggest ever defeat of a legislative proposal of the European Commission”.
He recognised the involvement of external campaigners, who demonstrated against the ACTA and organised signing of petitions throughout Europe. It is fair to assess that without a loud and strong public outcry, the ACTA would have had a much easier path to ratification.
Martin pointed out that, regardless of what some of his colleagues had said in the past several months, it is not a treaty that is needed “to battle counterfeiting, but better cooperation and training of customs officers”.
He also criticised the general approach of lawmakers to dealing with issues regarding the internet. “We tried as legislators over the last 10-20 years to deal with the internet as if it were a material thing, but it is not, so we have to start over,” he said and emphasised the need for a different approach.
Martin concluded that the ACTA was “not only dead in EU, but dead overall”, reminding that Australia was waiting for the Parliament's decision on it to proceed with its ratification.