[Fsfe-ie] No restart of the Directive

James Heald j.heald at ucl.ac.uk
Wed Mar 2 15:23:40 CET 2005

Barry Mahon wrote:

> On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 11:00:13 +0100, <fsfe-ie-request at fsfeurope.org> wrote:
>> Today's Topics:
>>    1. Commission won't restart patents directive (Malcolm Tyrrell)
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 10:41:55 +0000
>>> From: "Malcolm Tyrrell" <malcohol at eircom.net>
>> Subject: [Fsfe-ie] Commission won't restart patents directive
>> To: fsfe-ie at fsfeurope.org
>> Message-ID: <20050301104157.50E9A1C448 at crosspoint.fsfeurope.org>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>> http://wiki.ffii.org/Com050228En
>> Sigh,
>> Malcohol.
> Yes, sigh, - the FFII text is a bit incoherent, maybe illustrating the 
> 'rage' of FFII; but do I take the text to mean that the EP will reject 
> it if it goes back (after being passed as A, which should be unlikely)?

Short aside about the remaining legislative process:

The remaining stages would be:  2nd reading, Conciliation, and 3rd reading.

At 2nd reading in the EP, each amendment needs an absolute majority to 
pass; so does outright rejection.  The Commission presumably believes 
this will heavily circumscribe the amendments that get passed.

At 2nd reading in the Council, amendments can only be considered on 
clauses the EP wants to change.  They need unanimous support from the 
member states, if McC doesn't like them, or a qualified majority if he does.

If there is still distance between the Council and Parliament after 2nd 
reading, there is then a Conciliation phase where the sides try to hash 
out a final compromise on the remaining disputed articles, which goes to 
EP for 3rd reading.

At 3rd reading, the EP can reject the whole text by simple majority.

The key point therefore FFII is making, is that if the Council does 
approve its current text, and the Commission insists on pushing it to 
the Parliament for second reading, then it's much less likely that a 
Directive acceptable to all sides can emerge, and considerably more 
likely that the whole thing will get voted down at 3rd reading.

The civil servants at DG Market who want swpats may not care.  They may 
calculate that Council 1st reading position is so much the tactical high 
ground in the whole legislative process (and perhaps know they wouldn't 
get it for this text a second time), that they are determined to try to 
get it through at all costs.

And they also know that even if it does ultimately get rejected by the 
Parliament at 3rd reading, the Commission can always try again with a 
new text after two years.  So they may think it's worth a roll of the dice.

(This happened for the Gene Patent directive.  After rejection by the 
parliament 1st time round, the Commission tried again, and the 
Parliament was convinced by an astroturfing campaign by the industry -- 
google "No patent no cure" for the sordid details).

> Based on the short term thinking of pols I would not be so sure the EP would reject it - it could easily be 'negotiated' in the context of some other item the EP wants to get through.

Unusual -- party discipline is usually too weak and fragmented in the 
EP, so it's hard to reliably deliver trades across dossiers.

> Back to the trenches.....if McC didn't support the decision to reject 
> the restart (as seems likely) then did we make any progress on 
> contacting his cabinet?

Indeed.  Whatever happens, the Commission is absolutely central.   We 
need these links -- why do they want to defend this text, and nothing 
but this text, *so* tenaciously ?

*  It's not clear whether Council can pass its 1st reading text on Monday.
*  Parliament could even then ask the Commission to reconsider, and 
support restart anyway.

> Bye, Barry
> _______________________________________________
> fsfe-ie at fsfeurope.org mailing list
> List information: http://mail.fsfeurope.org/pipermail/fsfe-ie
> Public archive: https://mail.fsfeurope.org/mailman/listinfo/fsfe-ie

More information about the FSFE-IE mailing list