Wide agreement over the need for a coordinated effort at the European Union to fight piracy and counterfeiting in the Single Market was reached at a hearing in Munich this week, bringing tougher European laws on piracy and counterfeiting one step closer.
The hearing was organized by the European Commission and the German Presidency of the Council of Ministers and attended by over 250 international and European representatives from industry, professional and academic associations, and national administrations. The EC said there was unanimous endorsement of the suggestions made in its October 1998 Green Paper on combating counterfeiting and piracy. It said it would now ‘reflect’ the results of the hearing into a ‘policy Communication’ outlining future action.
For any suggestions to become European law, they must be voted on by ministers during a plenary session of the European parliament. The next session is due in April, but with European elections set for June, ministers may not get a chance to consider the recommendations resulting from this week’s hearing until November.