Civic Platform MEPs have been heavily criticized by MEPs from the ruling Law and Justice party for supporting ACTA2 and for voting in favour of Article 7 proceedings against Hungary.
Click here to read an analysis from Poland in English.
MEPs from Civic Platform voted along party lines to support “ACTA2”. They are members of the European People’s Party (EPP) whereas Law and Justice, who voted against “ACTA2” are members of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).
According to Law and Justice MEP Tomasz Poręba, Civic Platform have voted „to limit freedom and access to the internet”. He also said that internet users would not forgive the Civic Platform deputies for their behaviour and would hold them to account at the ballot box.
“ACTA2” is a directive aimed at copyright regulations in cyberspace. Despite introduced amendments it has been criticized for endangering freedom of internet users to link materials on social media and on the internet in general.
From the Polish MEPs, the directive was supported by the MEPs from Civic Platform and independent Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski.
Against the motion voted MEPs from Law and Justice, Polish People’s Party (PSL), Congress of New Right (KNP) and Freedom Party as well as all but one (Krystyna Łybacka - abstained) representatives of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD).
Another measure passed in the EP on Wednesday 12 September was activating Article 7 proceedings against Hungary for violations of European values. As with the “ACTA2” vote Law and Justice and its ECR grouping voted against. The EPP however was split on the matter with the Civic Platform deputies voting in favour.
The proceedings against Hungary have been instigated in response to controversial measures taken by the Hungarian government against NGOs and private universities. Hungary rejects the charges and argues that it is acting within the rights of a nation member state.
Law and Justice MEP Jadwiga Wiśniewska commented that „ today the EP voted against one member state and against freedom on the internet”.
source: PAP, Niezależna.pl
Many remember the protests over the more far reaching proposals of the original ACTA. Despite bitterly cold weather thousands demonstrated up and down Europe in 2012. It remains to be seen if such protests will be repeated this time.
The vote on activating Article 7 proceedings against Hungary is a painful one for the EPP of which the Hungarian ruling party, FIDESZ, is a prominent part. It was not very surprising that since Civic Platform supports the same kind of proceedings against their own country that they should be consistent and support them against Hungary too.
Of the two votes the “ACTA2” vote could be the trickier for the Civic Platform. Many Poles will be indifferent to Hungary , but should fears about ACTA2 be realized, they may not take kindly to those political forces that were complicit in its introduction.