At a Dutch House of Representatives’ committee meeting, 13 December 2011, minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Maxime Verhagen, said the refusal to provide access to the European Parliament’s legal service’s opinion on ACTA is “crazy”.
The European Parliament’s International Trade Committee asked the legal service for an opinion on ACTA. The opinion is ready and secret. The FFII requested the document.
Mr Verhagen mentioned that a Dutch citizen requested the document, and that the request was rejected. He called this “crazy” (Dutch: gek). The minister said the Parliament does not want to publish the opinion to protect the public interest as regards international relations.
Later, he gets back to the issue and says: “I support this Dutch citizen in spirit and deed”.
Before Verhagen became Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, he served his country as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. This experienced minister does not agree with the Parliament that publication would undermine the public interest as regards international relations.
He first mentions the request at 44.30 minutes. He uses the word “gek” (crazy) twice. He expresses his support at 48.50 minutes (youtube). Dutch text: “Ik steun deze Nederlandse burger in geest en daad”.
The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee requested an opinion as well. The FFII requested both documents.
During the meeting, Mr Verhagen also said many ACTA texts were leaked by the European Parliament.