ACTA and the New Institutional Balance in EU External Relations

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has proved to be one of the probably most hotly debated international trade agreements with relation to intellectual property. The agreement was negotiated as a mixed agreement by the Union and its Member States. Following the new rules on external relations in the Lisbon Treaty, in summer 2012 the European Parliament refused to give its consent for conclusion of ACTA, thus effectively precluding the accession of the Union and its Member States to the Agreement.

At this seminar the controversies surrounding ACTA will be taken as a starting point for discussing the new institutional dynamic in EU external relations in general,  and in the field of commercial policy and intellectual property, in particular. In what way has the balance changed between Member States and the Union, as well as between the Union institutions, and what are the consequences of such a change? What is the new role of the European Parliament in the process? What lessons can be drawn from ACTA concerning the modalities of negotiating international agreements in the future, notably in respect to  transparency and inter-institutional cooperation?