Update on EU ratification of Marrakesh Treaty

Marrakech Treaty signing, ratification and implementation by EU

Short notes on meeting in Athens with Greek Presidency of EU and Head of Intellectual Property Office on December 12th .

One of the priorities of the six month Greek Presidency of the EU Council that will start on January
1st 2004 is the signing and ratification of Marrakech Treaty. According to the head of the Greek IPR office, Greece will sign the Treaty very soon.

Greece and the EC envision the EU signing to take place in early 2014 with EU ratification taking place before the end of 2014. Unfortunately, according to Greek government officials and the Commission the transposition of the Treaty into EU member state laws and implementation would take much longer because it probably implies new EU legislation.

Transposition and implementation of Marrakesh Treaty into EU member state laws is seen by the European Commission as problematic without changes in EU copyright law, the Information Society Directive, which would take around 3 or 4 years of very difficult political processes. According to Greece and the Commission legal changes might be needed because of the cross-border nature of the Treaty. Nevertheless, a legal consultation be posed to the European Court of Justice by the European Parliament on whether the Treaty is compatible with current legislation, in which case transposition and implementation would be much easier and quicker.

The future Greek Presidency also suggested a centralized, common EU data base of accessible works for visually impaired along the lines of what is being done for orphan works.

These are some of the questions that will be discussed at the European Parliament´s December 17th event organized by the European Blind Union, TACD and three MEPs (Berlinguer, Lichtenberger and Sosa-Wagner) with the presence of the European Commission.