EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PLENARY DEBATE ON MARRAKECH TREATY
QUESTIONS FOR COUNCIL ON MARRAKECH TREATY RATIFICTION
-Will the Council set a timetable for speedy ratification?
-Does the Council agree that a “mixed ratification” would take years, and that such a delay would run contrary to the best interests of blind and partially sighted readers who are missing out on education, instruction and leisure reading in the meantime.
-Will the Council undertake formally now to not suspend the ratification process, and to make ratification an urgent priority?
-Will the Council assure us that the ratification and implementation of the Treaty will not be made part of wider discussions / legislative action on changes to EU copyright law?
REASONS AND REQUESTS TO THE COUNCIL AND COMMISSION:
1. We are against suspending the process of ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty as proposed by the Latvian Presidency in the Council. We insist that the Council considers a new compromise agreement that permits swift ratification of the Treaty.
2.The Latvian Presidency´s request for new legislation for implementation of the Treaty is being used as an excuse not to ratify. It is not necessary because the right to apply exceptions and limitations to copyright is clearly in EU law in the information Society Directive and in the laws of many EU member states. This is the opinion of Council and Commission legal services. In any case, further legislation is a separate issue from ratification.
3. The EU is showing a lack of political will to solve procedural questions and a lack of sensitivity toward the needs of disabled persons. The rights of blind and visually-impaired persons are being put off indefinitely with the excuse of long political processes. This is also the case of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons. Eight years after the ratification process began the EU still has not deposited its ratification in the United Nations.
4. The European Commission committed itself in 2013, in words of Commissioner Michel Barnier, not to place Marrakesh Ratification and implementation in the general debate of new copyright legislation in the EU. Will the Commission withhold this public commitment?
5. We reject the blame game for the lack of results toward ratification that the has been going on for nearly two years between the Council and Commission.