Governments of Europe: Please support Denmark!

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On March 4th the Danish Parliament obliged their Minister of Economic and Industry Affairs to reopen the software patents discussion in the EU Council of Ministers.

This is a big step forward and so we say: Thank you, Denmark!

However, Denmark needs support from the other governments in the Council to assure they do not block the reopening of discussion. Poland will back the initiative, but "unwritten rules" of diplomacy may prevent others from cooperating.

Council members also might be afraid to set a precedent in which any future political agreement may deemed worthless. This argument does however, not hold water. Rule 3.8 of the Council's Rules of Procedure clearly states that any country can reopen the discussions, unless the Council decides otherwise. This means that the Council, if backed by a majority of member states, can decline a request for renewed discussions.

And this is also the reason why Denmark needs support in the Council. So we appeal to the other member states: Please support Denmark! Leave behind the past attempts, reminiscent of a "banana republic" rather than a democratic institution, to push the directive through.

There are also indications that some delegations will try to bring up the subject of killing the directive. Most likely the Commission will support that and use it as a means of pressuring Denmark and Poland. But to threaten them with a withdrawal, because it would set a precedent reopening discussions at this point, would only show Commission's fear of gaining influence of national parliaments on the EU Council decisions.

A withdrawal would not help stopping current EPO practice. We want a good directive which effectively excludes software patents!

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