Is The EPP Group In Europarliament Trying A Last-Minute Coup On ACTA?

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.

Update: No coup – back to honest debate
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.

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.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Jaime Frontero

    “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.”

    Alas, Mr Falkvinge – that is *precisely* how they expect to win; and always have.

  2. U5K0

    Just sent emails to the slovenian MEPs. If anyone wants to do the same here’s place to start [for members of EPP only]:

    “Spoštovana ——————,

    sem ———————–. Pišem vam, ker sem pred kratkim zasledil informacijo glede glasovanja o sporazumu ACTA v Evropskem parlamentu. To glasovanje naj bi se zgodilo to sredo, 4. julija, a naj bi formalna potrditev tega datuma še ne bila izvedena. To naj bi se zgodilo v na manjšem sestanku v Bruslju v ponedeljek ob 17:00. Posebej je bila izpostavljena možnost da bo parlamentarna skupina Evropske Ljudske Stranke poskušala odločanje o sporazumu ACTA prestaviti na kasnejši datum in sicer zaradi verjetne zavrnitve v sredo.

    [Zavedam se dejstva, da veliko število poslancev skupine EPP podpira omenjen sporazum ter, da vi osebno najverjetneje s prestavitvijo odločanja o njem nimate nič. Kljub temu] pa se obračam na vas in na vaše kolege, ki vsi predstavljate vse evropske državljane v Republiki Sloveniji, da obranite prvotni časovni okvir za odločanje o ACTA-i. Menim namreč, da bi prestavitev glasovanja vsem Evropejcem, ki so se v zvezi s to temo politično angažirali, sporočilo, da so njihova mnenja in aktivno politično udejstvovanje drugotnega pomena v primerjavi z neodvisno oblikovanim mišljenjem nekaterih njihovih izvoljenih predstvanikov. Takšno dejanje bi lahko povzročilo nepopravljivo škodo v javnem dojemanju demokratičnosti Evropske Unije, njenih ustanov in najpomembneje, njenega pravnega reda. V trenutnem kontekstu si tega ne moremo privoščiti.

    Zahvaljujem se vam za vaše delo v našem imenu.”

  3. Pedro

    Going to send an e-mail to all MEP’s later tonight. I just hope that they will (try to) read it by tomorrow. This cannot happen (again)!

  4. S.W. Leefers

    I have sent an e-mail to my EPP members, urging them not to postpone the vote (als also to vote against ACTA).

  5. Byte

    Is anything going to be done about CETA – this is a trade agreement between the EU and Canada – this time the EU being the bully (*extending* Canadian copyright term by 20 years, extending patents on medications so generics will become available years later, etc.)?

    1. S.W. Leefers

      Yes, CETA is rather bad too. I bet Van der Gucht is behind that as well.

    2. Wendy Cockcroft

      I’ve been asking about that. If that’s floating about somewhere we need to stomp on it, hard.

  6. No EPP Coup to Delay ACTA « Christian Engström, Pirate MEP

    […] don’t know why they didn’t try, but it is possible that the attention the issue got over the weekend helped avert their attempt. Share […]

  7. ACTA countdown running » Random musings, rambling opinions

    […] (or maybe thanks to) rumours that the EPP Group in the EU Parliament was going to try some last minute trickery to get ACTA off the agenda for this coming Wednesday, this latest threat has failed to materialize. […]

  8. […] ja-sidan med EU-Kommissionen och konservativa EPP-gruppen i spetsen inte gett upp. Det har tidigare spekulerats i att EPP förberedde en “kupp” för att få bort ACTA-omröstningen från dagordningen […]

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