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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUCommission v.President Ansip to EF: Digital Tech. for Citizens Access + Authors Reward on Culture

EUCommission v.President Ansip to EF: Digital Tech. for Citizens Access + Authors Reward on Culture

Parašė ACM
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
 
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Modern Digital Technologies and EU's Single Market are Able to Ensure, at the Same Time, Both Better Citizens' Access, and Fair Remuneration to Authors, for the Preservation and Promotion of the European Heritage, replied, in Substance, the competent Vice-President of the European Commission, Andrus Ansip^, to an "Eurofora"'s relevant Query.


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   Raising 2 relevant Questions on the Sidelines of an EU/CoE Conference about Digital Data Protection, organized by the PanEuropean AudioVisual Observatory of the CoE, with the Participation of vice-President Ansip, s Key-note Peaker, "Eurofora", Started by Reminding the Fact that the current President of EU Commission, former Long-Time Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, had Drafted a Landmark Report on the Future of EU - CoE Cooperation, in a New Architecture of Europe, after being Invited to do so by the Heads of State/Government of the 47 Member Countries of the CoE, at their 2005 Summit in Varsaw, Poland.

 
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    - In this regard, By a Coincidence, this Same Day, in CoE's Committee of Ministers, was Anounced, (by the Incoming Cyprus' CoE Presidency for November 2016 - May 2017) a Project about the Legal Protection of Cultural Heritage, spreading up to Next year (2017), and, since Digital Technologies, Both from the point of view of Copyright, and from that of Common Market, are very Important, in order to Protect and Promote the Cultural Heritage, could yu kindly tell us what would be your ideas on How to Build the Horizon of this Junction between Cultural Heritage, Digital Technologies, and Copyright ?"


    - "Don't you think, in this regard, that Europe has a great Potential in this area, which sould be Both Protected and Promoted ?", "Eurofora" asked Ansip.


    - "Thank you for this substantial, but wide Question", reacted Positively with a Smile, EU Commission's vice President, who had Earlier taken himself the Initiative to Evoke also Culture. 

- "I think that the whole Idea of the Digital Single Market is meant (also in order) to Protect our (EU's) Cultural Heritage, and to Improve Access to those MasterPieces created by our Artists, and I Hope Everyone will realize that", he stressed from the outset, practicaly Agreeing with "Eurofora"s main observation, (See Above).

    - "As you know, our (EU's) Aim is to provide Better Access to Digital Contents for our Citizens, and, at the Same Time, our Aim is also to provide Fair Remuneration to our Authors", Andrus Ansip^pointed out, as a matter of General Principle. Indeed, - "I canNot see a Contradiction between those 2 Aims", he acknowledged.


    - "Last May, we (EU) Launched a Digital Single Market Strategy, while on December we presented Priority Proposals, and, one of the very First was about the portability of the Content. Today, 20% of European Citizens are Spending at least 10 Days each Year in anOther (EU) Country. And Many of those Travelling somewhere in other EU Countries would like to get Legally Access to their Digital Content. But, because of Copyright Restrictions, they canNot", he Denounced.


    - However, "for some Other People, that's Not a big Problem" : F.ex., for them "VPN is Available"... "So, 20% of Internet Users in the EU are used to Pay in order to get thus Access to Digital Content, and, since it's not free of charge, they just Pay 6 or 10 € for one of 2 Month, 20 € for 3 Months, etc., without even thinking that they are doing something in the Wrong Way. But, there is a Problem : Authors are Not Remunerated", he observed.


    - And "68% of interviewed EU Citizens said that they are using so-called "Free Goggles". "But, once again, there is a Problem : Authors are Not Remunerated". "So, somehow, as I said many times, with our (EU's) Regulations, we are Pushing People to those so-called "Free Goggles", he Warned.


    >>> - In fact, "We (EU), have to Tackle Piracy, but, First, we have also to Provide Legal Access to Digital Content for our People !" the Competent EU Commission's vice-President Urged.


    - "So, concerning the Portability of Content :" Of course, "we (EU) will Protect the Principle of Territoriality, But, for me, it's Difficult to Understand when People are Asking for Absolute for Territorial Exclusivity", Ansip Denounced.


    - Indeed, "Is there absolute Territorial Exclusivity, when, already, at least 20% of EU Citizens use VPN, while 68% use Free Goggles ?", he critically wondered. "My Understanding about Absolute Exclusivity is Differend : Absolute Exclusivity can be either Zero %, or 100%, but this kind of Exclusivity is very Relative"...


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    + "Our (EU Commission's) 2nd Reform Package is also about Cultural Heritage" indeed, vice-President Ansip observed, pointing Closer to "Eurofora"'s original Question, (See Above).


     - We proposed also a special regulation for Preservation purposes by Cultural Heritage Institutions : F.ex., concerning Museums, or Archives, etc, Change from one Carrier to anOther, (f.ex. DSHL to Fiber, or to DVD, etc) may be a Big Challenge and have a High Level of Administrative Costs", he  observed.


    => - "We (EU) Want to Cut those Administrative Costs, and Provide Access for People to all those Masterpieces Created by Artists", he stressed.


     >>> Because "Cultural Heritage is a Great Value", EU Commission's vice-President underlined.


     - "But it will be Much Better when this woN't be Blocked in Archives or Museums, so that People will have Access to Cultural Heritage !", Ansip pointed out, as a matter of Principle.


    + "So we (EU Commission) proposed also to Extend  the uses of Cultural Origin principle", as well as "of Collective Licensing", to "at least Double the Volume of" (relevant Digital) "Content which will Cross Borders for Access by our Citizens", etc., he added.


    => "I think that Everybody will Benefit, if we (EU) are Anle to Reach those Aims" : i.e. "Both Creators, and our (EU's) Citizens", the Competent EU Commissioner, optimisticaly observed, pointing at the Heart of the Matter.


     + Moreover, "a Lot of Other Proposals were made, so that Cultural Heritage can also ensure a Fair Remuneration of our Authors", since, "if they are Not Remunerated, then, Nobody will Provide", preserve and present "no more such real Masterpieces", he went on to add.


     - Nevertheless, Many among them, "f.ex. Musicians, are Unhappy. They say that they are Not fairly Remunerated", etc. "They are Complaining about Platforms for Distribution".

 
    - But, "there are very Differend Platforms" : F.ex., "Platforms based on Subscription, where there are 68 Millions of Users per Month, Contributing for about 2 Bilions € to Musicians".


    - "At the same time, there are some Other Platfroms, supported by Advertizing, and they have 1 Billion Users per Month, but they are Contributing just 643 Millions € to Musicians, who, of course, are UnHappy...


    - "So : 68 Millions of Users = 2 Billions €", in the First Case.  But "1 Billion Users = just 0,6 Billion €", he noted.


    Therefore, "we (EU) tried to make it more Clear : When Platforms are Selling many Value-Added Products, but withOut Remuneration, f.ex. by Advertizing, they say that it's Not well Known what happens there, Because we are just Neutral Intermediaries", etc.


    - So, we Tried to Find some Other kinds of Platforms of Distribution, which are Not so Expensive, but Allow for Authors to be more Fairly Remunerated, Ansip pointed out.   

 
    In this regard, f.ex., "YouTube" is Not the only one... In the case of anOther, for 10.000 Songs, you have to Pay some 400 € in Total : it's not too much", he observed.


    >>> "Once Again" : What matters most, is "to Provide Better Access to Digital Content, and to Provide (also) Fair Remuneration to our Authors" : Both Those 2 Things are very Important for this Matter,  the competent EU Commission's vice-President reiterated in Conclusion of his Reply to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question.



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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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