Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-09-08-Speech-3-081"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, in 2008, 178 million articles were seized by EU customs officials. Of these, 20 million items were dangerous. A total of 54% of the counterfeit products came from China and India was the main culprit as far as medicines were concerned. Counterfeit goods cause a great deal of damage to the European economy, but the people who buy fake products are also hard hit. I am thinking of medicines, for example. It would be a nightmare for me and for all parents if a sick child were to die after being given medicine, simply because we are not able to prevent fake products and medicines from coming onto the market. We must solve this problem. Product piracy is a central issue for the European Union. We must protect industries and consumers throughout the world against products which can cause damage to health and result in financial losses for companies. Therefore, I welcome the negotiations on an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) as a major step in the right direction in the fight against product piracy. We know that this agreement is not the only solution to pirating, but it is the first international agreement in this area which involves some states taking up the struggle against product piracy. I would like to see as many other states as possible joining in. Our group welcomes the positive cooperation between the Commission and Parliament since our resolution in the spring. We regret the fact that we had to go as far as adopting this resolution. However, as a result of regular reports from the Commission, we were able to gain an overview of the negotiations over recent months. I would like to congratulate the negotiators on their latest achievements. It is increasingly difficult even for the critics of ACTA to find negative points in the agreement. The issue of border control measures in the case of patent infringements and, therefore, the concern about the trade in generic medicines, have been removed. Three strikes and the searching of private luggage have been removed. The compulsory liability of Internet service providers has also been removed and the agreement seems to comply with the . I think we are on the right track. However, I would like to call on the Commission to maintain its strong position so that it can represent the interests of the European Union. I support the proposal to include patent rights, geographical designations of origin and patent infringements in the section of the agreement relating to civil law. I am very much of the opinion that Parma ham, Tiroler Almkäse and champagne deserve the same level of protection as Coca-Cola or Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Therefore, I am calling on the USA to stop blocking the publication of the documents. Publishing the documents after the New Zealand round has demonstrated how important transparency is and has enabled a great deal of the criticism of the agreement to be silenced. I would like to ask the Commission to continue to support the publication of the negotiation documents, at the latest before the agreement is signed. I wish the Commission every success during the next round in Japan and I hope for further timely and detailed reports on the negotiations. After the negotiations have come to an end, our group will sit down in peace and quiet to evaluate the results on the basis of the final text and then decide on its position with regard to ratification. I wish the negotiators success."@en1

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