Controversial ACTA Goes to European Court of Justice

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | February 22, 2012, Wednesday // 15:27| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Controversial ACTA Goes to European Court of Justice Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade give a press briefing on the Commission`s position on ACTA the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement at the EU commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium 22 February 2012. EPA/BGNES

The European Court of Justice, EU's highest court, has been asked to determine the validity of the controversial ACTA agreement, EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht has announced.

De Gucht revealed that the ratification process for the treaty will now be suspended until the court has given its advise.

The European Commissioner claimed he shared people's concern over the freedom of Internet.

"So I believe that putting ACTA before the European Court of Justice is a needed step. This debate must be based upon facts and not upon the misinformation or rumour that has dominated social media sites and blogs in recent weeks," he said in a statement.

"ACTA will change nothing about how we use the internet and social websites today," de Gucht stated, explaining that it does not introduce any new rules but only helps to enforce what is already law today.

Bulgaria's cabinet halted the country's ratification of ACTA on February 15 after massive protests that took place in the country. However, the Balkan country is yet to withdraw its signature from the agreement.

Ever since the signing, ACTA stirred much discontent in Bulgaria, both because it had not been discussed by the cabinet and because the public had been kept entirely in the dark about the decision to sign it, until prominent Bulgarian bloggers and lawyers stirred large-scale noise about it. They lashed out at the signing of ACTA over their belief the agreement will bind countries to install legal regulations that excessively and unduly broadly penalize Internet users.

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Tags: Karel De Gucht, ACTA, anti-piracy, European Commissioner, Bulgaria, Internet
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