Raad jast op illegale wijze besluit softwarepatenten er door heen

Ante Wessels:

"Wat er gebeurd is kan helemaal niet. Ieder lid van de Raad heeft het recht om een B-item (discussiestuk) aan te vragen [1]. Denemarken is dit recht botweg geweigerd.

Het politiek akkoord miste democratische legitimiteit, het gemeenschappelijke standpunt is ronduit illegaal."

[1] reglement van orde Raad van Ministers art 3.8 http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/nl/oj/dat/2004/l_106/l_10620040415nl00220045.pdf

persbericht FFII

PRESS RELEASE FFII -- [ Europe / economy / ICT ]


Council Presidency "Adopts" Software Patent Agreement


7 March 2005 -- The Council Presidency today declared the software agreement of 18 May 2004 to have been adopted, in violation of the procedural rules and in spite of the evident lack of a qualified majority of member states and the requests of several states to reopen negotiations.


  • Cyprus submitted a written declaration at the start of the Council
    • session
  • Poland, Denmark, Portugal and others (not specified) asked for a B
    • item (discussion point)
  • The Luxembourg presidency claimed this was not possible due to
    • procedural reasons, and that this would have undermined the whole

      process -> it would stay on the list of A-items

  • Luxembourg then gave a long statement regarding how the EP still
    • gets a chance in second reading, the importance of avoiding legal uncertainty etc.
  • Denmark said it was disappointed about this, but accepted and
    • submitted a written declaration
  • Later on, the list of A items was accepted by the Council


  • Luxembourg negated the Council's [1]own Rules of Procedure, which
    • state that a B-item (which is at the same time a request to remove an A item) can only be rejected by the a majority of the Council, and not just by the Presidency.
  • The objecting countries "forgot" to request removal of the A-item
    • from the agenda. Rule 3.8 would have given any single country the right to have the A-item removed, because the Luxemburg presidency had failed to insert it more than 14 days earlier. It is difficult to believe that they were not aware of this possibility.
  • This is a very sad day for democracy, and casts a very dark shadow
    • over the European Constitution, which will give the Council even more power.

Jonas Maebe, FFII Board Member, comments:

  • It is absolutely unfathomable what happened today. I cannot see how the promoters of the European Constitution can still support it with a straight face. This event shows that something is clearly rotten in the city of Brussels at the Council building. Why on Earth do we still have the rules that state that national parliaments should be taken into account by the Council? Things would be much more easier if we scrapped all those rules and simply wrote down "The Council presidency and Commission can do together whatever they like". There's no need for those pesky democratically elected parliamentarians to interfere with the smooth decision making process of the Council, since its only goal appears to be to please big business and to produce as many texts as the sausage machine can bear. This is absolutely disgusting.

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About FFII -- http://www.ffii.org

  • The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a non-profit association registered in several European countries,


  • is dedicated to the spread of data processing literacy. FFII supports the development of public information goods based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 500 members, 1,200 companies and 75,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice


  • public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.
    • _


[1] http://wiki.ffii.org/Cons0412En

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