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Parliamentary questions
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2 June 2020
E-003298/2020
Question for written answer E-003298/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Clare Daly (GUE/NGL)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Establishment of a European Patent Organisation Treasury Investment Fund

The European Patent Organisation (EPOrg) is an intergovernmental organisation established under the terms of the European Patent Convention (EPC). Under the terms of Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012, there has been increased cooperation between the EU and the EPOrg since 2012 in the context of the EU’s Unitary Patent project. Moreover, although the EU is not a contracting party to the EPC, it has observer status on the Administrative Council of the EPOrg under the terms of Article 30.

1. With this in mind, is the Commission aware of the circumstances relating to the establishment of an EPO Treasury Investment Fund (EPOTIF) in 2018 using cash reserves of approximately EUR 2.3 billion from the surplus accumulated in the current account of the EPOrg, as reported in German periodical WirtschaftsWoche on 22 June 2018?

2. Is it aware of and concerned about the reservations expressed by the German Federal Court of Auditors concerning the establishment of the EPOTIF?

3. Is it aware of the criticism of the EPOTIF voiced by a former judge of the German Federal Constitutional Court, who described the EUR 2.3 billion fund as a ‘shadow budget’ whose establishment allegedly ‘violates the fundamental democratic constitutional principle according to which public budgetary arrangements must be subject to parliamentary supervision,’ and which lacks a legal basis in the EPO?

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