Opening of July plenary session: EU patent law postponed, concern about developments in Paraguay

Press Release
Strasbourg -
Internal Policies and EU Institutions

Parliament postponed its scrutiny of a draft EU patent law, in a surprise vote prompted by the Council's last-minute wish to delete three key articles. The rapporteurs argued that this would "emasculate" the proposal. President Martin Schulz voiced Parliament's concern at the dismissal of Paraguay's directly elected President Fernando Lugo and announced that it would send a delegation to investigate.

Parliament's vote on the European patent was postponed by a vote, requested by rapporteurs Bernard Rapkay (S&D, DE), and Klaus-Heiner Lehne (EPP, DE), in response to the Council's plan to delete three key articles on Tuesday morning, just before Parliament's debate.

Mr Rapkay reminded MEPs that the Council had pledged on 2 December 2011 to approve the law as it then stood, provided Parliament did likewise. To change it now would be a "scandalous breach" of procedure, he said, adding that the Council's haggling over the seat of the proposed patent court resembled an "oriental bazaar".

Mr Lehne backed the postponement request, stressing that deleting articles 6-8 would "emasculate" the proposals. If the Council did this, he said, the case "would go straight to the European Court of Justice".

The President noted that the Council's request in effect rendered the first reading null and void.


President Schulz voiced Parliament's concern that the Congress of Paraguay had dismissed the republic's directly-elected President Fernando Lugo from office on 22 June.He noted that MERCOSUR and UNASUR had refused to recognise the new government led by Federico Franco, and that a Commission of the Organization of American States was in Paraguay to investigate the causes of the conflict.The European Parliament was also very concerned about the developments in Paraguay, and would send a delegation there "to assess the processes accurately and, if appropriate, to draw the necessary consequences", he added.

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Richard Freedman
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