10. February 2012–
Germany has decided to put its plans to support ACTA on ice, throwing even more doubt on whether the controversial treaty will ever see the light of day.
A German official has been quoted as saying that the country is reconsidering its position on the agreement and would no longer offer its support – instead opting to wait for an EU ruling before taking any action.
For ACTA supporters to lose the backing of Europe's most influential economic force is a massive blow. Justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has said that the German parliament will wait until “online and offline” discussions had reached a conclusion.
"The EU must now decide whether it needs ACTA and wants it” said Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. ”This must be approved by the European Parliament. All controversial issues are being discussed at European level and must now be answered.”
This hesitancy follows on from the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland withdrawing official support following concerns over personal freedom and digital rights.
It's no coincidence that this decision comes on the eve of a day of massive Europe-wide ACTA protests and points to the success of grass-roots activism that has mobilised millions of citizens worldwide in the biggest campaign against digital freedom of its kind.
Image credit: flickr user Stopped.