back to article Czechs, Slovaks stall on ACTA

The fragile European consensus over the ACTA treaty is fraying at the fringes: the Czech Republic and Slovakia have decided to suspend the ratification process, while Romania’s support for the treaty could stall on a change of government. Newsagency Ceske Noviny reports that the Czech government has decided further analysis of …


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  1. ceebee

    "Consultation"! HAH!

    There was no real consultation ACTA here in Australia (just as there is no consultation on the Trans-Pacific-Partnership (nice name dud of a treaty).

    These treaties have been designed to sidestep the public involvement. Both ACTA and the ongoing TPP processes have been carried out in almost total secrecy.

    Thankfully the EU is showing signs of questioning ACTA.

    1. Old Handle
      Thumb Up

      Go Czechs!

      My grandfather was Czech. I've never been to their country, but from the little I know of them, I always thought they were cool people.

      1. g e

        @Old Handle

        Get to Prague. Quick-sharp.

        You'll never want to leave.

        1. Diziet Sma
          Thumb Up

          I'll second that, my favourite city. Being there is simply nice, it's different, it's deeply cultural, and has fantastic food (a feature of prague I often find underrated) and nobody is out to scam you.

    2. Graham Wilson

      @ceebee -- You're right about consultation.

      As we've seen, international treaties are a dream way to bypass the democratic process!

      Any consultative process is usually tokenism, and when the government goes against the general will of the people and signs a disliked treaty (as it so often does), it pulls rank by saying that it's in the national interest to do so (and that the constitution only confers the rights to sign treaties to the government). Ipso facto, the citizenry are left out of the loop. And that's certainly how it works here in Australia.

      Thus, there's little or no public debate over treaties and it's always been this way.

      On the other hand, those who've a vested interest in a treaty being signed are fully aware of this process and their strategists work to this end until a treaty is signed and ratified--rubber stamped--by parliament. This is how the 1886 Berne Copyright Convention breezed its way to ratification throughout the world's parliaments with the vested interests (copyright holders) getting totally 100% of what they wanted.

      Recently, Wikileaks has confirmed without doubt how the non-accountable and secret part of governments work, and if there's one thing absolutely certain about that process, it doesn't involve the citizenry in the decision-making process.

      Hopefully, these tiny chinks in the process--the temporary halt to SOPA and now this Eastern European reaction to ACTA etc.--may be the start of an increasing and more widespread appreciation of the problem.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to see that the old soviet satellite nations are prepared to teach us how to recognise and resist the oppression of secretive regimes bent on stripping away out freedom.

    It's just a pity that the people trying to secretly oppress us are our own democratically elected leaders.

    1. Graham Wilson
      Thumb Up

      @Norfolk 'n' Goode -- Correct!

      After winning a few too many wars, society has become complacent, now the external enemy has been replaced by an enemy from within. The history of thousands of years warns about this.

      Close enough to their once oppression, ex old soviet satellites are still able to sniff out a well covered up stench.

      On evidence of our actions, it seems the rest of us lost this ability after we won WWII.

  3. andro

    Who in Australia do we contact in protest about this? It is a Federal thing I guess.. which department? I want to be more vocal about this sort of stuff. 'They' have their head in the sand!

  4. g e

    Dear Stupid American Corporations.

    You really think a countries like Czecho & Slovakia are going to bend over for this crap when they're only a generation or two out of Soviet oppression?

    Losses of Expression & Liberty are too close in memory for these people to give it up for your corporate profit and personal gain.

    We owe these guys for standing up where our own nations are too spineless, feeble and US-owned.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long memories

    Maybe they remember being stripped of their freedoms and rights 70 years ago when the tanks swept through in the last great attempted wholesale unification of Europe...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    while in Poland....

    the government has finally caught up with what's in the air and tries desperately some damage limitation techniques, they held a public debate yesterday on ACTA (yeah, having signed!), the PMs and a few of his, ehm... ministers. They still didn't quite get it and sent the invitation to various parties on Friday evening, about a debate which takes place on Monday, but hey, let's not be too demanding, no government can be expected to think about the citizens as partners, right? The debate took a whooping 4 hrs or longer, and opinions / statements varied from interesting to embarrassing to plain bizarre, on both sides. At one point, as it was transmitted live by 3 TV stations, all three took it off the air to focus on some other local news. This apparently triggered a stampede to find alternative, internet streaming sources, which crashed immediately, causing a momentary lapse of reason on the government side with the message of a "hack attack". There you go.

    But no, they didn't reply clearly why they were being so sneaky with the whole subject and the (non) consultation, and why all this f... rush to sign ACTA.

    That said, I wish I could ever see Mr Cameron speak so directly and, at times, bluntly, face to face with real people (and clearly, they were real people).

    My 4 year old daughter was rather appalled though, as I listened to the debate, when the PM, Mr Tusk (quite some name there), kept insisting that ACTA is no danger to public freedoms, it's a "fakt". And a fakt this, fakt that, etc, etc, and my daughter listens, getting really upset, and then says: uhm, daddy, this man, he is talking very naughty, he shouldn't be saying that, very, very naughty!

  7. Miek

    " the government won’t allow “civic freedoms and free access to information” to be threatened, and says the real-life impact of the treaty needs to be understood." -- Wow, we need politicians like that too!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only we had a place where all iideas were free and without geographic, ethnic, economic, cultural, political or religious boundaries, If we had a place like that we could unite and achieve anything. We could topple any government or corporation if only we had such a place.

    If that place could possibly exist I assure you that our leaders would mass against it and use any excuse, any power any lie or deceit to take it from us.

    This fight has only just started and most of us have no idea that it is the most important fight we will ever undertake.

  9. Big Al

    @ Diziet Sma

    "...and nobody is out to scam you"

    Back to your GCU please, Prague's taxi drivers are notorious across Europe for their flagrant scamming... and corruption is rampant at all levels of society. With six prime ministers in eight years, it's hardly surprising that nobody's got on top of this yet.

    Granted the city has a very low violent crime rate, and is reasonably cheap by Western European standards, and the country has some of the best (and best priced) lagers around :-)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    internet velvet revolution

    young people in these two countries is all it took to peacefully overthrow communist regime,

    maybe they will do the same for corporate capitalist oppression of internet freedom

    1. andy, bacup

      I'd have to say Gorbachev had a lot to do with it.

      If 'young people' had tried that while Brezhnev was in power the tanks would have gone in the next night (cf: Czechoslovakia 1968.)

  11. irish donkey

    Consultation and right to reply is a democratic right

    That is why all ARTICLES on El Reg should be open to comments.

    We the consumers of these articles deserve our right to reply

    Any article that isn't open for comments should be banned!

    Who is with me?

  12. Gob Smacked

    Nothing here...

    in the Netherlands' media. ACTA seems to be non-existant, except for the internet savvy folks here.

    I know big media are probably very much pro-ACTA, but even our publicly owned radio/TV stations seem to keep it silent or are completely ignorant.

    I applaud the Czechs and every other EU member that is able to vote this out ! I'm ashamed being Dutch in this regard...

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