EU ratification of Marrakesh Treaty!

Give the best Christmas present to millions of blind persons:
EU ratification of Marrakesh Treaty!

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European Parliament, 17 December 2013
Room:  ?5?2
Hosted by Luigi Berlinguer (S&D, IT), Eva Lichtenberger (Greens/EFA, AT), Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI, ES) and the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD)

On December 17th, we shall celebrate the new global books without borders Treaty for visually-impaired persons and we shall demand that the EU signs and ratifies this historic disability rights Treaty as soon as possible.

Last June 28th, the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities was concluded in Morocco.

This international binding UN/WIPO treaty aims at ending the “book famine” that deprives 250 million people of access to culture and education. Visually impaired persons only have access to between 1 and 5% of the books published. The agreement focuses on copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible and affordable versions of books and other copyrighted works. It sets a norm for countries ratifying the Treaty to have a domestic copyright exception covering these activities, and allowing for the import and export of such material.

Six months after agreeing to the Treaty text the EU has still not signed the Treaty and has not even decided on the legal procedure to be used in the ratification process by Member States and the European Parliament.

On December 17th at the European Parliament visually-impaired leaders from around Europe will meet with MEPs, the European Commission and other stakeholders to discuss the meaning of this landmark treaty for human rights and to urge swift ratification by the EU.

Speakers include representatives of the European Commission, the Council, national blind associations and member states.

We look forward to welcoming you!

17 December 2013 13:00-14:30
European Parliament, Room ?5?2

Welcome remarks by Luigi Berlinguer (S&D, IT)

David Hammerstein, Senior advocate, TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD)
Overcoming obstacles to the ratification and implementation of the Treaty

Wolfgang Angermann, President, European Blind Union
The case for a speedy EU ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty

Barbara Martin, Organizacion Nacional de Ciegos de Espana (ONCE)
Why visually-impaired persons need an effective application of the Treaty

Rodolfo Catani, Secretary-General, European Disability Forum
The benefits of the Treaty seen from Italy

Chris Friend, Campaign advocate, World Blind Union
Latest developments on the global ratification of the Treaty

Short statements by national blind associations

Panos Panayotopoulos, Greek Presidency of EU representative (tbc)

Pierre Delsaux, Deputy Director General, Single Market Policy, Relations with the Council, European Commission

Open discussion

Closing remarks by Eva Lichtenberger (Greens/EFA, AT)

For visitors that require entry badges to the European Parliament, please RSVP to:  HYPERLINK “” stating your full name, identity card/passport number, date of birth and nationality.
Please note that registration starts from 12:30 in the entrance zone of the Altiero Spinelli (ASP) building on the Place du Luxembourg side. We kindly ask you to present yourself no later than 15 minutes before the start of the event.