In light of the recent Europe-wide protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the European Commission has decided to submit the international treaty to the European Court of Justice.
“We are planning to ask Europe’s highest court to assess whether ACTA is incompatible – in any way – with the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of intellectual property,” European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht said in a statement on Wednesday.
The EC, the European Union's executive arm, adopted ACTA in December and passed it to national governments and to the European Parliament for ratification. A total of 22 EU countries, including Poland, signed the treaty on January 26. However, concerns about the agreement's impact on freedom of speech and privacy have led Germany, Slovakia, Estonia, Cyprus and the Netherlands to refuse to sign, while Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Latvia have also expressed concerns.
“Let's cut through this fog of uncertainty and put ACTA in the spotlight of our highest independent judicial authority: the European Court of Justice,” said Mr De Gucht.
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