Greece has now transposed the EU Directive in its national law. As for Luxemburg, we learned that allegedly it would not need to do so because its national law is already in conformity with the EU rules. If this is so, then all EU countries have now implemented the Directive. To recap on our two related issues, as far as we know:
• 5 EU countries have unfortunately opted to have a remuneration/compensation scheme for rights-holders: Austria, Denmark (only for audio-books), Finland (only for audio-books and if the beneficiary keeps a permanent copy), Germany and Greece (only for pedagogical books). We still lack information for Luxemburg, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia.
• Sadly, 6 EU countries, despite the Agreed Statement of State Parties to the Treaty concerning Article 9, are requiring authorized entities to be on a registered list in order to benefit from the Treaty rules: Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hungary and Italy; possibly Romania too. We still lack information for Denmark, Greece, Luxemburg, Portugal and Slovenia.
Looking at the non-EU European Economic Area countries: in Norway, a draft law to implement the Directive is expected for the second half of 2020.
And beyond the EU/EEA: to date over 65 countries in the world have ratified the Treaty, including the following ones in Europe: Russia, Moldova, Switzerland and most recently Serbia. Regarding the UK, the EU Directive and Regulation entered into force before the country’s withdrawal from the EU and the UK Government announced at the time that it intended to ratify the Treaty in its own name at the appropriate point to ensure a smooth transition.
Our campaigning efforts continue in wider Europe, building in particular on a regional dynamic in the Western Balkans. Besides a recent ratification of the Treaty by Serbia, Montenegro now has a draft bill ready to be discussed at the Parliament.
We have replied to a European Commission consultation on the evaluation of the Postal Services Directive, (pdf file) last revised in 2008.
Our position consists essentially in a strong recommendation to keep, and even strengthen, the section on free postal service for the use of blind and partially sighted persons, despite the increased digitalization of postal services.
As part of work to implement Objective 6 Action 15 of EBU’s action plan in 2020, we have started to work on a proper EBU position in which to elaborate our call for an audio-description conditionality on EU funding to the European cinema industry.
Our German member DBSV has already expressed interest to lead this future campaign, and we will be mobilising our membership to secure their most active participation.