Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

Have the copyright  lobbyists won this round, or is it just a full agenda?


The Conference of Presidents, which decides the agenda of the European Parliament, including which motions will be voted in any given session, has failed to include  a key motion on ACTA in any of the May plenary sessions.

 The motion asks for a referral to the European Court of Justice, in order to get a legal opinion on the compatibility of ACTA with the EU Treaties. It was put forward by the Green group, and is understood to have the support of the Socialists and the Left group.

 Instead, it seems the motion will be moved back to June 7th, and it is unclear

what this means or what the reason was.


There seems to be some contention about whether the European Parliament can  take vote on an ECJ referral  before the  ACTA agreement  has been  formally received. However, the Parliament must make the referral before it votes on consent to ACTA, which may give it a limited window  of opportunity.


Given the divergence of opinions on whether or not ACTA is compatible, the ECJ opinion would seem to be a sensible, if not essential, move.


The deferral does beg the question as to whether there is a legitimate procedural reason, or how much the Parliament is being  influenced by the recent lobbying of the copyright industries, including the Motion Picture Association ( representing the Hollywood studios) and the IFPI (recorded music industry). They would like to see the EU sign and give consent to ACTA as soom as possible.


Resolution requesting an opinion from the Court of Justice on the compatibility of ACTA with the Treaties


 A somewhat technical (in the legal sense) explanation of the position regarding the request for an ECJ referral on ACTA .


The correct attribution for this article is: Monica Horten (2011) ACTA: European Parliament postpones  ECJ motion  9 May 2011

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. It may be used for non-commercial purposes only, and the author's name should be attributed. 


Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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