EU Parliament forgives Council for adopting patent directive

EU Parliament forgives Council for adopting patent directive

Summary: The software patent directive is heading for a showdown in the European Parliament in July, now that any 'small irrelevant mistakes' committed by the EU Council have been ignored

TOPICS: Government UK

The European Parliament (EP) agreed on Wednesday that the EU Council did not break procedural rules when it adopted the software patent directive earlier this month.

The EU Council adopted the draft software patent directive on 7 March, despite the European Parliament's (EP) request to restart work on the directive. The EP later decided to investigate whether the EU Council broke procedural rules in adopting the directive, which it is claimed will allow the widespread patenting of software in Europe.

After examining documents from the EU Council meeting, the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament decided on Wednesday that the Council had not broken any procedural rules. As the Council has expressed willingness to listen to the EP during the second reading, JURI decided to "not look for small irrelevant mistakes" in the Council's documents from the meeting, according to an EP spokesman.

The draft directive will now be passed to the European Parliament, which can reject or amend the proposal, for a second reading. The Council's common position will be formally announced in a plenary session in April and will then be discussed by the JURI committee. The deadline for amendments to the directive is likely to be 1 May, with the amendments discussed in the JURI meeting on 24 May, according to the spokesman.

JURI is likely to vote on the amendments on 6 June, and the amended directive will be voted on in a plenary session of the EP in July. For JURI's amendments to be agreed by the EP will require 366 MEPs to vote for the changes — this represents a majority of the 731 MEPs and is irrespective of absences and abstentions, according to the spokesman.

If the directive had been restarted, as was requested by the Parliament, it would have been easier for changes to be agreed as the first reading requires only a simple majority of votes cast.

"That's why the Parliament wanted a restart — it has more power in the first reading," said the spokesman.

The European Commission rejected the EP's request to rewrite the directive last month, a decision that was met with fury by anti-patent campaigners who accused the EC of acting undemocratically.

Topic: Government UK

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  • Only thing left to do: say NO to European Constitution.

    sad sad day.
  • money talks....
    and loud.
    Action plans should taken this in account.
    Do not underestimate the power of money.
    Wars are being run because of money (did anybody find bio weapons at Iraq? They found petroleum....)
  • "The European Parliament (EP) agreed on Wednesday that the EU Council did not break procedural rules when it adopted the software patent directive earlier this month."

    Right, well, I don't know about the rest of you's but I'm off to the EP to break someones legs, but the looks of things over there you can get away with these things.
  • Vote NO to the European Constitution.
    Vote yes for Eurosceptic parties in national elections.

    This zdnet article speaks for itself, regarding the conduct of the EU bodies.

    The pro-jobs, pro-IT, anti-software-patent groups better start making a Plan B also, in case this appalling piece of...legislation passes. I have little faith now in the "democracy" of Europe, whats left of it. Please can they formulate their Plan B to be as aggressive as (legally) possible regarding future industrial action, legal action, organising boycotts etc.
  • The likely direction of this whole issue leaves me bewildered. Europe is now likely to sign the death warrant of it's own software industry. How can it be that Europeans have taken on the US so successfully in the field of aeropsace (Airbus) and yet be so determined to ensure that will become nothing more than the local sales office for US companies in another industry (software). The degree of grubby deals going on must be staggering. I don't live in the EU, but from here, anyone who thinks that increased political integration in the EU is a good thing needs to have a reality check.
  • It's increasingly obvious that the EU parliament wants no truck with democracy.

    In order to compete directly in this space, FOSS needs some of its biggest supporters (like IBM) to wine, dine and dazzle the people in charge of railroading (or not) the Keep Megacorps Safely Profitable Act (2005) through the EU political process.

    Or possibly a few key whistle-blowers.
  • Who took which decision?

    Who is the anonymous MEP quoted in this article?

    And how does this MEP explain what happened on the 7th? Did Denmark ask for reopening of negotiations or did it not? Can the EP answer the 23 questions that we have asked the Council?

    Do they want to know?

    The JURI Committee is very diverse, some MEPs there want to know, others don't.

    The overall tendency is however to start a 2nd reading on the basis of the Uncommon Position, and to treat the rule violations of the Council as an internal matter of that institution, leaving it to member states to decide whether they want to bring it into order. The ministerial officials of course will not bring it into order, because the violation served what in their eyes is a noble cause: assuring that national parliaments don't get any opportunity to make Council processes "inefficient". And the national Parliaments have long given up the idea that they could control the Council.
  • It is interesting to see that European democracy is no better than that of India or even Malaysia. If not worse.
  • There is an old saying in Government that the second pupose of the bureaucracy is to employ those who cannot find a real job.

    The first is to stop the wheels of government turning so fast that they avoid the real wants of the tax payer.

    It would seem that in this issue the second is true, but somehow the first is no longer.

    When this happens to a bureaucracy it is usually because the decision makers are being controlled or influenced by the lobbyists.

    The normal fix it procedure in these cases, is to promote the entrenched players sideways into less sensitive areas and promote those not yet influenced by lobbyists, into their places.

    If this doesn't happen, there is a strong possibility of either a revolution or of the system fragmenting and becomming unmanagable.

    Lets hope promotions are in order before anything irrevocable happens.
  • The European Parliament spokesman quoted in the article is not an MEP - he is the spokesman for the JURI committee.

    Thanks for your comments.
  • The EU Parliament has more important things to do then wasting time on forgiving the EU Council.

    Specificly to boot out Software Patents completely in whatever way they please. Because how things are done in the EU doesn't seem to matter any way. So that leaves only what is done to be of concern appearantly.