Help sign the Written Declaration 12/2010 about ACTA
5 minutes to help the European Parliament reject ACTA!
The Written declaration 12/2010 was initiated by the Members of European Parliament Françoise Castex (S&D, FR), Alexander Alvaro (ALDE, DE), Stavros Lambrinidis (S&D, GR) and Zuzana Roithova (EPP, CZ). It expresses concern about ACTA by declaring that the negociated agreement must respect freedom of expression, privacy and Net neutrality (by protecting Internet actors against excessive legal liability). It calls on the Commission to publish all the texts under negociation.
The challenge is great. There are only three months to physically collect signatures of more than half the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). If this happens it will then become the official position of the European Parliament. The more signatures that are collected, the stronger the political message of the declaration will be. (more information about written declarations on the European Parliament website)
Inside or outside the Parliament, every European citizen can participate in this endeavour!
This campaign page is a wiki page. Everyone can edit it to enhance it and contribute information.
Signatures are open from March 8th 2010 and for a period of 3 months.
From Mar 8th to Mar 11th, call their offices in Strasbourg!
This timeframe when most MEPs usually sign written declarations (MEPs must get to sign on a table in front the hemicycle) includes 4 plenary sessions, when all the MEPs will be present in Strasbourg:
- Week from Mar 8th to Mar 11th
- Week from Apr 19th to Apr 22nd
- Week from May 17th to May 20th
- Week from Jun 14th to Jun 17th
Members can also sign during 2 "mini-plenaries" on March 25th/26th and May 5th/6th
If you are available to help getting MEPs to sign during the plenaries, contact email@example.com
All the Members of the European Parliament can sign this declaration. The more the better.
- Target MEPs from your country. Write to them and call them presenting yourself and stating your nationality.
- Target MEPs from all political groups. Do not hesitate to invoke the names of the initial signatories from their political group (Mrs Roithova for the EPP, Mr Lambrinidis and Mrs Castex for the S&D, Mr Alvaro for the ALDE group).
You can report back your contact, whether it was successful or not to firstname.lastname@example.org
- MEPs receive hundreds of mails per day, so sending an email, even if important, is often not enough to move the MEP to sign the written declaration.
- A phonecall to an MEP or his or her assistant has much more impact.
- The ideal is to send an email, then call. You can start by asking "(Hello my name is XY and I live in Z) I just sent you an email, have you read it? No? Let me tell you about it... ".
- Always refer to the written declaration as "Written Declaration 12/2010 by MEPs Castex, Alvaro, Lambrinidis, Roithova".
- Always be polite. Your interlocutor probably doesn't know much about ACTA and follows many other issues that have little to do with ACTA, but has a good capacity of understanding.
You can convince the MEPs to sign the Written Declaration 12/2010 with the following arguments:
- Written declaration 12/2010 was initially signed by MEPs Roithova (EPP) / Castex and Alvarao (S&D) / Alvaro (ALDE).
- It is a clear signal to send to the EU citizens that the European Parliament is here to protect their rights.
- It is a strong message sent by the Parliament to the Commission that democratic process cannot be circumvented.
- It allows to each signatory MEP to show his commitment towards protecting citizens rights.
- ACTA removes the competency of the European Parliament to deal with civil and criminal sanctions related to counterfeiting.
- It is a simple text that makes a very clear statement.
- It recalls general principles of the EU: protection of fundamental rights, competency of the Parliament for matters related to Copyright, transparency.
- ACTA is seeking to increase Internet actors liability for the counterfeiting done by their users. It is extremely dangerous and would turn them, in order to avoid legal risk, into private police and justice auxiliaries, determining which content must be removed/filtered/blocked and restricting access.
This is just an example of phone call, to give an idea. It is not intended to be reused as such. Spontaneity is always better....
Here is an example phone, to help you to know how to talk to MEPs assistants:
- YOU: "Hello, I would like to talk to Mrs/Mr MEP, please."
- Assistant: "Mrs/Mr MEP is not available, I am her/his assistant. Can I help you?"
- YOU: "I am MyName, calling from MyCountry, I am very much concerned by the ACTA agreement currently under negociation. Has Mrs/Mr MEP signed the Written Declaration 12/2010 by MEPs Castex, Alvaro, Lambrinidis, Roithova?"
- Assistant: "I see. We had calls before. I have no time."
- YOU: "But it is very important! The whole negotiation is circumventing the democratic process and could radically alter the Internet and citizens freedoms."
- Assistant: "Don't worry. The Commission is negociating, everything will be fine, the texts might be published soon."
- YOU: "An analysis by the Commission itself shows that current versions go beyond the EU acquis. The ACTA agreement lets the Commission negotiate on civil and criminal sanctions. It is not just a trade agreement. The European Parliament must show its commitment to protecting EU citizens. Mrs/Mr MEP should really sign the declaration 12/2010"
- Assistant: "I'll tell Mrs/Mr MEP."
- YOU: "Thank you very much for listening to me. I'll call you again shortly to know what he thought. Have a good day."
Don't hesitate to copy the mails you send to the MEPs to this dedicated page
- Leaked ACTA document of the European Commission outlining the positions of negotiating countries on the language of the civil enforcement chapter and the digital chapter.
- La Quadrature's policy brief on ACTA.
- EDRi's FAQ on ACTA digital chapter.
- Reporters Without Borders' press release on the dangers of ACTA for freedom of expression.
- FFII's analysis of ACTA.
- Michael Geist's posts on ACTA.
- WeRebuild.eu's introduction to ACTA: Analysis and introduction to key actors.
- OXFAM's press release on why ACTA would undermine public health at the global level.
- ETNO's position on ACTA.
- EuroISPA's position paper on ACTA.
Insert here questions that may arise while contacting MEPs. We will try to answer them as quickly as possible
- Why sign the written declaration?
It is important that the European Parliament shows its commitment to protecting EU citizens freedoms, and an open Internet. It would be a strong political signal to the European Commission and to the EU Member States.
- Isn't there also an oral question and a common resolution?
The oral question and the common resolution are complementary with the Written Declaration. While the common resolution is a parliamentary resolution that will be voted on this Wednesday, the Written Declaration will have three months to collect signatures. The common resolution that is more technical proposal focusing on the application of Community Acqui and has been negotiated among political groups while the Written Declaration is more about the political content of ACTA reflecting a campaign of civil society groups.
- How can an MEP sign the written declaration?
He or She must personally sign the declaration on a table in front of the hemicycle during plenary sessions or go to the written question room at the European Parliament in Brussels.
- Will ACTA mandate restrictions on Internet access?
No, but it will mandate Internet Server Provider liability and in order to avoid liability the ISPs will police the web and restrict access to Internet as a voluntary exercise of "self-regulation".
- Is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) primarily about counterfeiting?
ACTA does contain provisions that might strengthen enforcement against counterfeit goods, but its objectives are far broader. It includes mandated penalties for non-commercial copyright infringement, new criminal enforcement measures on patents, a new global regulation for Internet and measures that affect world trade in generic medicines.
- How does ACTA raise serious concerns about data protection and privacy?
ACTA proposes a global increase in monitoring, filtering and surveillance that means serious threat to private data protection. As the EU Data Protection Supervisor has stated "the (unnoticed) monitoring would affect millions of individuals and all users, irrespective of whether they are under suspicion."