How to act against ACTA: DEVE

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Current main action: contact the DEVE committee to tell them about the dangers of ACTA, ask them to modify their draft opinion report.

2012-01-23: Tomorrow, the EU Parliament “development” committee (DEVE) will hold its first debate on its draft opinion report on ACTA, presented by its rapporteur Jan Zahradil, a conservative, euro-skeptic representative from the Czech Republic.

This disastrous draft opinion report is deceptive and tries to justify extremist repressive measures to protect the outdated regime of copyright, patents and trademarks.

More worrying still, the draft report completely overlooks the widespread citicism against ACTA4, coming not only from NGOs defending access to medicines, such as OXFAM or Health Action International, but also from the EU's main trading partners.

It is extremely surprising that the draft report does not question the need for ACTA and does not criticize the way in which it was negotiated. Does the committee consider normal for non-elected civil-servants close to industry lobbyists to negotiate out of any form of democratic scrutiny? Or for emerging and developing countries to be totally excluded from the process?

See EDRi's thorough criticism of this draft opinion report.

What do to

The draft DEVE opinion report must be amended to reflect the crucial problems raised by ACTA. Even the study commissioned by the EU Parliament itself recognized that ACTA cannot be accepted as it stands.

Call the members of the MEPs_DEVE and tell them about the dangers of ACTA and how their report overlooks all these dangerous problems.

Example phone call

Here is an example phone call, to give you an idea of how such a conversation may go.

It is not intended to be directly reused as such, only to provide a guide, an example.
Remember, spontaneity is always better…

  • 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 and DEVE's draft opinion about it.
  • Assistant: I see. We had calls before. I have no time.
  • YOU: But it is very important! The whole ACTA negotiations circumvented the democratic process and could radically alter the Internet and citizens' freedoms.
  • Assistant: Don't worry. The text is not as bad as you've heard, everything will be fine.
  • YOU: An analysis by the Commission itself shows that current versions go beyond the EU acquis, that ACTA cannot be accepted as it stands. The ACTA agreement lets the Commission negotiate on civil and criminal sanctions. It is not just a trade agreement. The DEVE committee must show its commitment to protecting EU citizens and include all the crucial problems of ACTA in its report. Mrs/Mr MEP should help shape the DEVE report to present this information against ACTA."
  • Assistant: "I'll tell Mrs/Mr MEP."
  • YOU: "Thank you very much for listening to me. If you wish, I can send you reference documents. I'll call you again shortly to know what he/she thought. Have a good day."