Slovenian ambassador apologizes for signing ACTA, Poland halts ratification
BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, February 3 2012
Helena Drnovsek Zorko, Slovenia's ambassador to Japan, is one of the EU representatives that signed ACTA a week ago.
Yesterday, though, the ambassador reconsidered her position and issued an apology to her country for signing the international treaty on counterfeiting. She wrote:
I want to apologise because I carried out my official duty, but not my civic duty. I don’t know how many options I had with regard to not signing, but I could have tried. I did not. I missed an opportunity to fight for the right of conscientious objection on the part of us bureaucrats.
Apparently she was flooded by emails and messaged from Slovenian citizens that criticized the treaty's ratification. On her personal blog, she then acknowledged that online protests raised concerns about a treaty that she now defines as “damaging to the state and citizens."
The ambassador also warned against demonization by the people who protested against her, pointing out that the responsibility is on her government:
This was decided by the Slovenian government and by the parliamentary committee for EU matters, and before that, Slovenia was for quite some time involved in coordinating the agreement. All this was done with too little transparency, judging by the outraged responses that have appeared following the signing. Back then, the Slovenian media did not demonise this decision to the same extent as they now demonise my signature. This I consider very dangerous for the continuous (non-)development of democracy in Slovenia.
Tomorrow a protest is planned in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, and the ambassador called for people’s participation: “The true concern and determination of those Slovenian citizens who feel that the agreement must be stopped will be reflected in the number of people who attend this protest. I would like to ask for somebody to please attend in my name.” she concluded.
But the Slovenian ambassador is not the only political representative to have second thoughts. The Washington Post writes in fact that Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk declared that he is halting the the ratification process on ACTA, a treaty that also Poland had signed a week ago.
Poland was the country that faced the biggest amount of protest against ACTA: last Thursday more than 10,000 people took the streets in protest, BBC reported.