Yesterday, July 5th 2018, the European Parliament voted by 318 to 278 votes to reject the negotiating mandate to start trilogue negotiations with the European Council and European Commission on the new copyright directive, as proposed by their Legal Affairs Committee. This means that the Members of Parliament (MEPs) now have the opportunity to discuss contentious articles before the next session of the European Parliament in September 2018.
Eurodoc welcomes this outcome which gives more time for discussion to improve the draft of the proposal, specifically regarding articles 3, 11 and 13, as we asked in our recent Eurodoc Open Letter to European Parliament on Copyright Directive. Leading up to the vote, Eurodoc and our 29 national associations across Europe sent the open letter to all MEPs as well as calling and engaging in dialogue with MEPs from all parties. We stressed that we are not against copyright or a European copyright directive per se, but that our community of 1+ million early-career researchers across Europe have serious concerns about articles 3, 11, 13, and the potential consequences these articles could have on open society and research.
“The vote today in the European Parliament was a great result for democracy. The directive was clearly not ready given the widespread concerns from citizens and stakeholders as well as the highly polarised nature of support for and against the directive.” says Eurodoc president Gareth O’Neill. “318 MEPs listened to the voices of concerned citizens and stakeholders and stalled the directive so that it can be more closely scrutinised and aligned with the will of the people. Eurodoc will continue to engage with MEPs on the directive.”