Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Wednesday, 4 July 2012 12:33 UK

MEPs kill off anti-piracy treaty in final vote

The European Parliament has voted to overwhelmingly reject a controversial treaty designed to tackle large-scale intellectual property theft.

MEPs gave their verdict on the Anti-Countefeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) during the daily voting session on 4 July 2012 - following the previous day's debate.

A total of 478 MEPs voted against the deal, with just 39 in favour. There were 165 abstentions.

As the result was announced MEPs held up banners saying "Hello Democracy. Goodbye Acta".

The treaty cannot become law in the EU without European Parliament approval; meaning it has effectively been killed off.

Before the vote, MEPs rejected a bid by the centre-right EPP group to postpone the vote until after the European Court of Justice ruling on the legality of the treaty.

The man in charge of steering the deal through Parliament, British Labour MEP David Martin, pointed out that five parliamentary committees had said no the treaty, and it was time to "give Acta its last rites".

Also during the session, MEPs voted to:

• adopt a series of reports by the Agriculture Committee on agricultural policy

• approve three deals to improve trade terms with Russia

• adopt a report on proposals to make direct payments for farmers fairer across the EU

• adopt a report on the mandate for trilogue negotiations on the 2013 budget

• adopt a report on the EU's strategy for the protection of animals

• adopt a resolution on the establishment of an EU legal framework for the protection of stray pets and animals

• adopt a resolution calling for all EU citizens to have access to a basic bank account

• adopt a resolution on the conclusion of the European Council summit

Votes on resolutions relating to the preparation of the Commission's work programme for 2013 were postponed.

After voting concluded MEPs offered explanations for the way in which they voted.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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