Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-07-03-Speech-2-430-000"

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"Madam President, what is the problem with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and this vote today? Millions of consumers in Europe have had difficulties with counterfeit products and tens of thousands of jobs have been lost as a result, but the majority in this House is on the point of rejecting ACTA. We in the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) have always said that we want a proper evaluation of ACTA and that we are only in favour of ACTA if it does not change anything for Europeans living in Europe. That is still true today. I advise every Member of this House to look again at the two legal reports from our independent parliamentary Legal Service which, in my opinion, come to a very clear conclusion about ACTA. For us in the PPE Group, the freedom of the Internet is one of the most important issues. Yesterday afternoon, it once again became clear who is actually fighting for the cause of freedom every day in this House, when we were discussing the agenda for this part-session and the groups which are allegedly in favour of freedom in the context of ACTA expressed their opposition to a debate on the breaches of the constitution and the intolerable situation in Romania. Ladies and gentlemen, what happened yesterday to your campaign for freedom and human rights in the European Union? I would like to see you taking a much more consistent and uniform position in this area. My concern with regard to this discussion on ACTA is the way we deal with one another in an open democracy. I very much welcome the wide-ranging public debate. It should have taken place earlier and there should also be debates of this kind on other topics. I am also very pleased by the immense dedication of the younger generation who have shown an incredibly strong interest in and commitment to this subject. However, I found the disinformation campaign staged by some opponents intolerable, in particular, at the start of the debate on ACTA. We all remember the anonymous video containing a number of invented untruths which was made available on the net. This amounted to an attack on democracy. For this reason, I would like us to treat one another with respect, in particular in the light of the latest press release issued by the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and by Mr Swoboda accusing us of a lack of transparency and of deception. Firstly, we have never asked for a secret vote, neither in committee nor here in this House. We have always said that we are in favour of postponing the matter, so that the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Commission have more time to complete their homework. However, it was Members from the S&D Group and the Liberals who came up to me personally and said that they were in favour of ACTA, but that the pressure in their groups was so great that they needed my help. Nevertheless, we still did not ask for a secret vote. We have always been quite clear about the fact that we want to keep ACTA alive. We want to put it to rights and improve it, not kill it off. It is your group which is exerting the pressure on its Members and not allowing a free vote in committee and also here in plenary. Ladies and gentlemen, I would ask you to remain democratic and to open up the vote in your group so that every Member of this House has the opportunity to vote tomorrow according to his or her convictions."@en1

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