European Parliament

08/24/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/24/2018 08:25

Notice to members - Petition No 0930/2016 by David Hammerstein Mintz (Spanish) on the swift ratification, implementation and application of the Marrakesh Treaty - PE[...]

European Parliament

2014-2019

Committee on Petitions

30.7.2018

NOTICE TO MEMBERS

Subject:Petition No 0930/2016 by David Hammerstein Mintz (Spanish) on the swift ratification, implementation and application of the Marrakesh Treaty

1.

Summary of petition

The petitioner regrets the delays in the ratification and implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty facilitating access to published works for persons with are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. Non-ratification and implementation of the Treaty would impede access by blind and visually impaired persons to a large majority of books and other printed materials, which would be contrary to the spirit of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The petitioner makes reference to the European Parliament resolution of 3 February 2016 on the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, based on petitions received, notably Petition 924/2011, as well as to the latest proposals for a Directive and for a Regulation published by the European Commission on 14 September 2016. Against this background, the petitioner asks the EU Institutions and the Member States to reach a swift and clear institutional agreement which assures the effective ratification, implementation, application and practical development of the Marrakesh Treaty.

2.

Admissibility

Declared admissible on 9 January 2017. Information requested from Commission under Rule 216(6).

3.

Commission reply, received on 28 February 2017

The Commission takes the issues raised in this petition very seriously and is committed to ratifying and implementing the Marrakesh Treaty as rapidly as possible.

As regards the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty (the Treaty), the Commission tabled a

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United in diversity

proposal for a decision of the Council for the ratification of the Treaty back in 21 October 2014. This decision has not yet been adopted due to a disagreement on the exclusive competence of the EU to ratify the Treaty. In order to find a way out of the resulting dead-lock, the Commission has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for an opinion on the nature of the external competence in 2015. The Court has delivered its opinion on 14 February 2017 and confirmed the EU's exclusive competence. The Commission expects that this will pave the way for speedy progress regarding the ratification of the Treaty.

Regarding the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty in the Union, as mentioned in the Petition, the Commission has adopted two legislative proposals for that purpose, a directive and a regulation, on 14 September 2016. The Commission believes that these proposals reflect correctly the obligations under the Treaty undertaken by the EU and that they allow for the effective application of the Treaty, unhindered by unnecessary burden of an administrative or other nature for the beneficiaries of the exception that the proposals introduce.

The ordinary legislative procedure for the adoption of these proposals by the European Parliament and Council is ongoing since the autumn of 2016 and the Commission is hopeful that it can be achieved as soon as possible.

4.

Commission reply (REV I), received on 31 October 2017

The Commission takes the issues raised in this petition very seriously. It is committed to ratifying and implementing the Marrakesh Treaty as rapidly as possible.

Regarding the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty (the Treaty) in the Union, the two legislative proposals for that purpose, a directive and a regulation, were adopted by the Union and published in the Official Journal on 20 September 20171. These legislative measures will allow for the effective application of the Treaty in the EU, unhindered by an unnecessary burden of an administrative or other nature for the beneficiaries of the exception. They will also facilitate the cross-border exchange of accessible format copies between the Union and third countries when the Treaty enters into force for the EU after its ratification.

As regards the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, the Commission tabled a proposal for a decision of the Council for the ratification of the Treaty back in 21 October 2014. On 14 February 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) clarified the nature of the Union competence as exclusive. Deliberations on the adoption of the decision on the ratification in the Council are currently ongoing.

5.

Commission reply (REV II), received on 30 July 2018

The Commission takes the issues raised in this petition very seriously. It is committed to ratifying and implementing the Marrakesh Treaty as rapidly as possible.

Regarding the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty (the Treaty) in the Union, the two legislative proposals for that purpose, a directive and a regulation, were adopted by the Union

1 OJ L 242, 20 September 2017, p. 1 and 6.

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and published in the Official Journal on 20 September 20171. These legislative measures will allow for the effective implementation of the Treaty in the EU as of 12 October 2018, unhindered by an unnecessary burden, of an administrative or other nature, for the beneficiaries of the exception. They will also facilitate the cross-border exchange of accessible format copies between the Union and third countries when the Treaty enters into force for the EU after its ratification.

As regards the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, the Commission tabled a proposal for a decision of the Council for the ratification of the Treaty back in 21 October 2014. On 14 February 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) clarified the nature of the Union competence in this regard as exclusive. After obtaining consent by the EP, Council has adopted Decision (EU) 2018/254 of 15 February 2018 on the conclusion of the Treaty on behalf of the European Union. The Commission understands that the deposit of this decision with the Word Intellectual Property Organisation in line with Articles 19(b) and 22 of the Treaty will take place taking into account the deadline for Member States to adjust their national legal systems.

1 OJ L 242, 20 September 2017, p. 1 and 6.

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