Secret vote on ACTA?

June 16, 2012
By Ante

According to Marietje Schaake, member of the European Parliament’s International Trade committee (INTA), there is a rumor that there will be a request for a secret vote on ACTA. See her tweet.

Who would have somehing to hide? A small majority of groups are against ACTA. Proponents of ACTA may hope that a secret ballot may dilute group discipline, with a report recommending adoption of ACTA as result.

First the INTA committee secretariat denied the existence of coordinators’ minutes.

After that the INTA committee kept the legal service’s opinion on ACTA secret. After the Legal Affairs committee decided to publish it, the Chairman of the INTA committee made it secret again.

Then Commissioner De Gucht invited himself to the INTA committee, to address the committee just before the ACTA vote. The committee changed that to: you can come on Wednesday, not Thursday just before the vote. (revised agenda, pdf): 20 June 2012, 18.00 – 18.30, point 13 Exchange of views with Karel De Gucht, Commissioner for Trade, on the Anti-
Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The vote will be on Thursday 21 June after 10 am (point 32, there is a long list). And it may be secret.

Secret ballots are possible under EP Rules of Procedure 196 in combination with RoP 169. It takes one-fifth of the component Members.

169.2: “Voting may also be by secret ballot if this is requested by at least one-fifth of the component Members of Parliament. Such requests must be made before voting begins.

When a request for a secret ballot is submitted by at least one fifth of the component Members of Parliament before voting begins, Parliament must hold such a vote.”

Secret ballots are very unusual, except for appointments. After years of secrecy, a secret committee vote?



See also.

8 Responses to Secret vote on ACTA?

  1. Dennis Nilsson on June 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    It’s disgusting! This type of behaviour and secret ballots have no legitimacy in a democracy.

  2. [...] le montre cet article de la FFII, Karel de Gucht, commissaire européen en charge de l’ACTA, vourait faire passer [...]

  3. Darkknow on June 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I wrote an article on that, and I also posted on Twitter and FB.
    Link :

  4. [...] FFII ACTA blog: Secret vote on ACTA? ( [...]

  5. [...] Ante Wessells for the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure. “Secret Vote on ACTA?&… [...]

  6. [...] there are indications that INTA is planning on either recommending ACTA be passed, or otherwise be delayed rather than rejected, using a secret ballot. Commissioner De Gucht himself, the European Commissioner responsible for trying to get ACTA [...]

  7. [...] Secret vote on ACTA? [...]

  8. [...] har sedan ett par dagar tillbaka även cirkulerat rykten om att voteringen i INTA skulle ske anonymt, i ett försök att få ledamöter som känner av pressen från acta-kritiska väljare att våga [...]