EU suspends ACTA ratification, refers treaty to court
The EU has suspended the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting trade Agreement (ACTA) and referred the text to the Court of Justice, reports the Associated Press.
The European Commission decided on Wednesday "to ask the European Court of Justice for a legal opinion to clarify that the ACTA agreement and its implementation must be fully compatible with freedom of expression and freedom of the Internet."
The ACTA, so far signed by 22 EU member states, targets trademark theft and online piracy. The initiative sparked protests in several European cities over fears of online censorship and increased surveillance. The protests made several countries, including Germany and Denmark, back away from the treaty.
The European Parliament is to debate the ACTA in June. EU officials say the accord will change nothing in the bloc, but the EU must ratify it to set an example to other countries.