In a remarkable resignation statement, the man responsible for the EU’s ACTA negotiations has resigned, blasting the document as secrative and un-democratic.
Kader Arif, rapporteur for ACTA in the European Parliament quit his role as rapporteur saying:
”I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.”
“As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens’ legitimate demands.”
“Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic, whether it is its impact on civil liberties, the way it makes Internet access providers liable, its consequences on generic drugs manufacturing, or how little protection it gives to our geographical indications.”
“This agreement might have major consequences on citizens’ lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.”
Earlier in the week we blogged on the issues involved, and we are urging the UK Government to urgently address these concerns in Parliament. When decisions that will fundamentally affect the our economies, privacy and civil liberties are being taken behind closed doors, we can only assume it is because what is being proposed is not in the best interests of ordinary citizens.
This is a brave act and highlights just how flawed the process behind ACTA is. Civil society has been shut out and special interests have replaced elected representatives of the people. As our freedom and privacy is being attacked, unelected European bureaucrats are standing idly by. It is time for the British government to intervene and ensure this draconian and dangerous legislation is dropped.