Marrakesh Ratification: Written question by 19 MEPs to the Council of the European Union

On October 21th 2014, the European Commission proposed the ratification, on behalf of the EU, of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled.

The ratification by 20 countries is necessary for the Marrakesh Treaty to enter into force. Only 1 to 5% of published books are available in an accessible format for visually impaired persons worldwide. The ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty by the EU will help address this “book famine” that deprives 250 million people of access to culture and education.

The EU, authorised by the Council, signed the Marrakesh Treaty on 30 April 2014. The Lisbon Treaty grants the competence of ratifying international agreement to the EU (Art 218), the European Court of Justice has confirmed this EU competence in relevant cases. It is now for the Council to authorise the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty by exclusive EU competence.

If Member States refuse, or propose shared competence, the ratification will be significantly delayed, and so will be the application of the Treaty. If this is the case, on what legal grounds would the Council base its objection to the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty under exclusive EU competence?

Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, ALDE

Javier Nart, ALDE
·         Fernando Maura Barandarian, ALDE
·         Yana Toom, ALDE
·         Enrique Calvet Chambon, ALDE
·         Mircea Diaconu, ALDE
·         Jean-Marie Cavada, ALDE
·         Marielle De Sarnez, ALDE
·         Enrico Gasbarra, S&D
·         Alessandra Moretti, S&D
·         Giorgos Grammatikakis, S&D
·         Julia Reda, Green
·         Pascal Durand, Green
·         Marie Christine Vergiat, GUE
·         Marc Joulaud, EPP
·         Bogdan Wenta, EPP
·         Rosa Estaras Ferragut, EPP
·         Santiago Fisas Ayxela, EPP
·         Pilar del Castillo EPP