Voss comments on “unfortunate” trilogue cancellation

21 January 2019

Copyright Directive Rapporteur, Axel Voss, has released a statement (English translation courtesy of JURI Committee Press) expressing his disappointment at the cancellation of the trilogue negotiation scheduled for today. In the statement, Voss highlights the disagreement between Germany and France on the question of SME exemptions from article 13 (the former being in support of such an exemption, and the latter against). In the wake of the failed Council vote, Voss urges “creativity and good will” and “use [of the] momentum” in order for the two states to agree. In a later interview with IPPro, Voss spoke more generally of the split political position on the Directive, and commented that it “may not lead to 100 percent satisfaction” for any party; nonetheless, he calls for cooperation between those at both sides of the argument. The necessity of such a deal (between Germany and France) has also been outlined by Politico and the Article 13 blog.

Further comments amidst the fall-out of the failed Council vote include those of the Vice-President of the Commission, Andrus Ansip, who stresses the ongoing importance of the Copyright Directive for both the Commission and the new Romanian Presidency. Ansip appears to recognise the role of online platforms in providing wide distribution of content for creators, but nonetheless stresses the need for an innovative method to ensure fair remuneration. Elsewhere, Ansip produced a statement speaking of the “necessity” of reaching an agreement soon:

“All involved parties have a huge responsibility: Playing lightly now with a “no deal is better than my own maximalist position” as I read sometimes from position statements is dangerous and irresponsible.”

On the legislative process, a further trilogue negotiation must be held by 14 February, ahead of the Parliamentary elections. Prior to this, COREPER must agree a common position to present to the Council in order to be granted a negotiating mandate.