Drama at the European Parliament: whoever thought the dispute within the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) around the adoption of a new regulation dealing with online transmissions by broadcasters and retransmissions (COM(2016) 594 final) could not become more exciting when JURI voted on its final report at the end of November, was wrong. The rapporteur Tiemo Wölken made a last attempt for new negotiations on the final report prior to the first reading in the EP – and failed. Now, the EP is “ready to start talks with EU governments on new rules for online TV and radio” (press release).
After a long debate and several postponements, on 21 November 2017, JURI finally agreed on a report that significantly differed from the draft regulation that the Commission originally suggested (see our blog post). The report was handed over to the Parliament as the basis for the trilogue negotiations. However, MEP Wölken, who did not support the final recommendation by JURI, took the last option that remained in order to change the report: he relied on Article 69c of the Rules of Procedure of the EP that enables the parliament to reopen the negotiations on the report. Over the last few days, both sides tried to mobilize the supporters of their view on the matter. Finally, the plenary voted with 344 votes against and 265 in favour for MEP Wölken’s request (with 36 abstentions) thereby approving JURI’s report and position.
The vote now paves the way for the adoption of the report by the Parliament and negotiations with the Council and the Commission. Thus, the beginning of 2018 promises to be exciting as well!