In an effort to halt the increase in piracy and counterfeiting the European Commission has today adopted a strategy for the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in third countries. The action plan focuses on vigorous and effective implementation and enforcement of existing IPR laws. It proposes to identify priority countries where enforcement actions should be concentrated. Stress will be put on technical cooperation and assistance to help third countries fight counterfeiting but the Commission will not hesitate to trigger all bilateral and multilateral sanction mechanisms against any country involved in systematic violations. The Commission will foster awareness raising of users and consumers in third countries and support the creation of public-private partnerships for enforcement.