A new home for EU copyright policy
Exactly 2 months ago I argued++New homeRead my previous blog post on this subject here. that it was time that copyright policy would get a new home within the European Commission. I had made this observation in reaction to a keynote++Our single market is crying out for copyright reformClick here to read the transcript of her presentation. given by outgoing Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes at the occasion of the opening of the Information Influx conference. In that speech Kroes had vented her frustrations with the lack of meaningful progress in the area of modernising copyright during the tenure of the Barroso Commission, which she partly blamed on her failure to include copyright policy within the responsibility of the Commissioner responsible for the digital agenda.
Given this, it comes as a welcome surprise that as part of his announcement of the new team of Commissioners earlier today, President-elect Junker also announced that the responsibility for copyright policy will be transferred from DG Markt to DG Digital Economy and Society The responsibility for copyright policy will be transferred from DG Markt to DG Digital Economy and Society.(which is the new name of DG Connect):
Unit MARKT D1 (Copyright), the part of Unit MARKT D3 (Fight against Counterfeiting and Piracy) dealing with copyright enforcement, and the part of unit MARKT E3 (Online and postal Services) dealing with online services moves from DG Internal Market and Services (MARKT) to DG CONNECT.
DG DES will be the responsibility of Commissioner-designate Günther Oettinger from Germany who, despite having served as Energy commissioner for the past 5 years, is a bit of a blank page when it comes to digital affairs.
Oettinger, in his turn, will report to vice president for the Digital Single Market, the former Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip. As the vice president in charge of digital policy, he is tasked to …
“… steer and coordinate the work of several Commissioners, in particular the Commissioners for Digital Economy and Society; Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility; Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality; Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs; Regional Policy; and Agriculture and Rural Development.”
Both the fact that copyright policy has been moved to DG DES and the fact that there will now be a vice president in charge of coordinating the work of the different Directorate Generals in this area are encouraging. It remains to be seen if this will mean that the current deadlock in the discussions about the modernisation of copyright++More on this discussion in my blog post from 18 July. will be resolved quickly.