There are credible rumors floating about in the European Parliament that the EPP party group – the largest party group trying to save and salvage the ACTA trainwreck – is going to try to kill the ACTA vote through procedural trickery in the European Parliament.
The final ACTA vote in the European Parliament is scheduled for July 4, the Wednesday of this week in the European Parliament. But the actual agenda for the week’s plenary session is established on Monday at 17:00, when most Members of European Parliament haven’t returned from their home countries and returned to Parliament for the week’s session. It is a small meeting that is supposed to be just a formality.
The agenda-setting meeting has passed, and this didn’t happen in this meeting. It’s not enough to say that this was a false alarm, though, these are Heisenberg events: it may well have been planned, then called off once it got attention. New rumors say that the EPP will ask for postponement during Tuesday’s debate. We’re now back to a rejection being the main line, and EPP trying to postpone openly in plenary. This line has been known for a while.
Credible rumors hint at an attempt from the EPP party group to just coup the ACTA vote off the week’s agenda, sensing a defeat in the air and taking advantage of the fact that practically nobody has arrived, and that the agenda for the week is supposed to be set in a mutual understanding to move the political issues ahead, even the ones in dispute.
Yes, this is the same EPP party group that tried to submit too many votes four times during the ACTA meeting in the International Trade committee (while no other groups did).
This is the same EPP party group that got its way in the magical poll that killed Orphan Works availability in Europe in a vote with 113% voter turnout in the Legal Affairs committee.
This is the same EPP party group which apparently considered invoking rules to make the ACTA vote be held through secret ballot in the INTA group, which was derailed by the ALDE group and others calling them on it and preventing that plan from materializing.
— Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) June 20, 2012
This is the same EPP party group that is home to MEP Marielle Gallo, who goes on the record saying that “The citizen protests against ACTA is a mild form of terrorism” and “the politicians should be doing the thinking for the citizens”.
Just to set the bar, sort of.
This is not how you gain confidence in the European politicians’ honesty when doing politics. If you’re losing in a matter, you’re expected to battle it out in the court of public opinion and in an open, accountable vote. You are not expected to win by being better at tweaking and exploiting the Rules of Procedure to get your will no matter what, when you’ve lost the argument.
“This is exactly the kind of attempted coups you associate with political youth wings when they’re at their worst”, says Christian Engström, Pirate Member of European Parliament. “It shows just how desperate the ACTA proponents have become.”
Do check which European politicians in your country are members of the EPP group. It would typically be conservative or Christian Democrat parties. Call them on this. This is disgraceful.
SEE ALSO: FFII has also heard about this, and counter-mobilization is starting to happen. But it requires MEPs to reschedule their travel to be in Strasbourg for Monday at 17:00, so it’s a bit of work.