Commission moves to allay MEP concerns over intellectual property

On February 9, the European parliament discussed the oral question on the commission’s group of experts on the enforcement of intellectual property rights in its plenary session in Strasbourg.

By Astrid Van Hecke

10 Feb 2015

Many MEPs voiced their concerns about a potential overlap between the European observatory and the expert group established by the commission. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, commissioner for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs, argued that the expert group has a strict mission, namely to advise and assist the commission on policy initiatives.  The members are national authorities responsible for national IPR policies. The group's aim is to exchange experience and good practice; it does not gather data. The observatory on the other hand supports and facilitates the practical enforcement work and as such is different. The observatory provides tools, technologies and training and helps authorities to work together. Part of this is data collection. In sum, the expert group focuses on policies, best practice and monitoring, while the observatory focuses on enforcement and day to day implementation. As a result, the observatory and expert group complement each other; they do not duplicate each other’s work.

She also stressed that MEPs are welcome to attend the expert groups' meetings.

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