Parliamentary question - O-000005/2012Parliamentary question

      Blind persons' access to books


    Question for oral answer O-000005/2012
    to the Council
    Rule 115
    Erminia Mazzoni
    on behalf of the Committee on Petitions

    In order to confront the problem of access for blind and print disabled persons to books and other printed products, the World Blind Union and the European Blind Union have proposed an internationally binding treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to establish a targeted exception to copyright. The Commission and Council, on the other hand, are proposing stakeholder agreements in the EU and a voluntary recommendation at WIPO. The European blind community deems both to be wholly insufficient.

    1.  While the EU supports binding WIPO treaties for all other purposes, how does the Council justify proposing a lower standard of global legal protection for disabled persons?

    2.  Does the Council consider that its actions with regard to the WIPO treaty respond fully to the wishes of the European Parliament as expressed in its report ‘Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries’, which calls for a legally binding treaty at WIPO?

    3.  Does the Council consider its opposition to the WIPO treaty to be consistent with its own 2010-2020 strategy for disabled people that specifically aims to remove obstacles to inclusion and to create a culture of equal opportunities?

    4.  Does the Council consider, in this regard, that present EU and international law is in harmony with the objectives of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and in particular Articles 21 and 30 thereof, and with the obligations under the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, both of which aim to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities?

    Tabled: 13.1.2012

    Forwarded: 16.1.2012

    Deadline for reply: 6.2.2012