Last Updated on 2022-07-08 by Joop Beris
This is an open letter to all those concerned, especially members of the European Parliament.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are our elected representatives. You are the last hurdle the ACTA agreement has to take before it can be implemented. It is my fervent hope that you shall prove to be an insurmountable hurdle. It is my sincere wish that you vote “No” against this far-reaching and potentially very dangerous treaty. A treaty that has been negotiated mostly in secret by people who do not have the interest of ordinary citizens at heart, but people who represent the vested interest of large corporations. Will you allow it to happen that big business can essentially “buy” legislation with their extensive lobbying networks? Will you endanger the rights and liberties of millions of European citizens such as myself, just to protect the already fat wallets of mega-corporations? Or will you truly represent us, your electorate and say “no”, in order to protect us from their money-grubbing hands? The time to make your decision is now.
I understand that something needs to be done to stop counterfeit goods. I understand the industry’s desire to prevent people from pirating their property. I only protest against the way that ACTA proposes to do this and they way the ACTA agreement has been drafted. Just last month, our own national parliament was not allowed access to the documents, except for in a closed session. Since when are trade agreements so secret, unless there is something to hide? If own our own parliament is silenced in this way, what does that predict for ordinary people like me? It is my informed opinion that the European Parliament should reject the ACTA agreement on this principle alone, because of the undemocratic nature of the process that gave birth to this perverse agreement.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am not alone in my concern. Much of ACTA is still in the dark, its exact implications are not yet known. From leaked documents, it has become clear that ACTA is open to interpretation and that it remains unclear how much freedom national governments will have when implementing parts or all of ACTA.
Members of the European Parliament, without trying to sound overly dramatic, I have to stress that you are our last and only hope to stop ACTA. Will you allow an undemocratic agreement to pass your democratic and respectable institution? An agreement that has far-reaching implications for freedom of information, freedom of speech, net neutrality, access to medicine and food. An agreement that will harm, restrict and make suspects of European citizens. An agreement that will potentially criminalize parody and limit freedom of speech. Or will you protect our rights and freedom by rejecting ACTA?I urge you to do the latter by voting “No”. The choice is yours. Please, stop ACTA now!