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To those of you who are following ACTA, the EP's International Trade committee (INTA) yesterday decided that it would NOT refer the ACTA treaty to the European Court of Justice (see the link below).

This means that the procedure will, until further notice, continue in accordance with the time table agreed by INTA Coordinators in December 2011 (i.e. consideration of draft report in April, Committee vote in May, followed by a plenary vote in summer). The rapporteur from the EP's INTA Committee should present his recommendations to the Parliament around 25-26 April.

How does the ratification process work?

ACTA is a so-called "mixed agreement" since it touches upon both EU and Member States' competences: it contains criminal enforcement provisions, an area that is considered of "shared" competence between the EU and its Member States. This is why it needs to be signed and ratified by the EU and by all the 27 Member States.

The European Parliament, has the right to say "yes" or "no" to ACTA. In parallel, all Member States will have to ratify ACTA as regards the "Member States" competence of ACTA (criminal enforcement legislation).

The EU and 22 Member States have signed ACTA in Tokyo on 26 January. The remaining 5 Member States (Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia) announced to sign as soon as they will have completed any necessary domestic procedures needed prior to signing (Germany's Liberal Party said DE would sign after EP ratification only).
For all other ACTA questions, please consult the website: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/tackling-unfair-trade/acta/
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