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Posts Tagged ‘Council’

Ron Paz found a list of Council working Groups(not sure whether I mentioned it here before) and is digging into the advisory groups of the European Commission. The Commission fully discloses the groups but offers only a burdensome and complicated database. According to Ron Paz the Commission refused to release the flat data under 1049 transparency rules.

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From a confirmatory application we learn about dissent from Finland and Sweden:

FI: “Even if FI is of the view that Article 4(1)(a) of the Regulation 1049/2001 concerning the protection of international relations is applicable, it appears that the possibility of extended partial access in accordance with Article 4(6) of the Regulation has not been thoroughly considered.”

SE: “Further partial access should be granted to documents 13382/08, 15588/08, 17249/08, 12076/09 and 5363/10, since there are additional parts that are not covered by the secrecy exception in article 4(1)(a) third indent.”

The Permanent Representatives Committee is accordingly asked to suggest that the Council, at its next meeting:
– record its agreement to the draft reply annexed to this document, as an “A” item, with the Finnish and Swedish delegations voting against,
– decide to publish the result of the vote

I believe a general misconception on behalf of the Council is that EC/1049/2001 puts any constraints on the member states to grant access to Council documents. That may apply to the Council secretariat in its primary application but it does not apply to the Council when answering confirmatory applications. EC/1049/2001 defines the principles and limitations underlying the Citizen’s legal right to public documents. It does not put constraints on the Council to go beyond that. To overcome this confusion wording like “shall” in the context of constraints has to be eliminated from 1049.

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The European Council seeks a backroom deal with the European Parliament on the controversial copyright extension plans. A meeting is scheduled at the April 29.

Attachés will examine the possibility of a first reading agreement with the European Parliament on the Term Directive (8898/09). The meeting will take place in Presidency Room No 1, floor 50. N.B. Participation is limited to Attachés only

The short phrase “Term Directive (8898/09)” stands for the very controversial

Term of protection of copyright and related rights (amending Directive 2006/116/EC) (Directive) 2008/0157 COD 24/07/2008, 12217/08 COM(2008) 464.

Of course no one ever used the phrase “term directive” before. In the European Parliament:

Parl. Ctee: JURI – LEHNE, Klaus-Heiner
Rapp.: Brian CROWLEY (UEN-IE)

A document adopted in Parliament one year ago and then put to coma was registered at the Council under the document number 8898/09. For more obfuscation the document is available only in French from the Council register:

Proposition de directive du Parlement européen et du Conseil modifiant la directive 2006/116/CE du Parlement européen et du Conseil relative à la durée de protection du droit d’auteur et de certains droits voisins – Résultats de la première lecture du Parlement européen (Strasbourg, du 21 au 24 avril 2009) PDF 30-04-2009

Why the clandestine approach on the Council side? Why don’t they reference the correct dossier name and procedure? I assume you may find the answer in the delicate substance of the proposal. I remember I met an economist in Parliament who tried to get the results of his research to the attention of MEPs, and basically saw the dossier as a great scam.

The dossier became widely known informally as the “Cliff Richard pension fund” because it was promoted by aging UK rock musicians, a kind of special gift to the music industry by the outgoing Commissioner. I haven’t monitored the dossier any further. In any case, outrageous policy making.

Here the OEIL file on COD/2008/0157, Prelex interinstitutional overview,

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