Providing citizens and businesses with the right legal tools in the digital age: two Bulgarian ministers speak before the European Parliament

22.02.2018

Two Bulgarian ministers – Ms Tsetska Tsacheva, Minister for Justice, and Mr Boil Banov, Minister for Culture – spoke today before members of the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), in order to present the Bulgarian Presidency priorities in the areas of legal issues and copyright. They both said that the Presidency would focus its efforts on providing citizens and businesses with the right legal tools for living, working and doing business in a changing digital world.

These were the last two in a series of presentations of the Bulgarian Presidency priorities which took place earlier this year. Together with the Bulgarian Prime Minister's address to the European Parliament plenary, the presentations form part of the interinstitutional dialogue between the Council and the European Parliament.

Ms Tsacheva, Minister for Justice, said:

“The programme ahead of us is intense, the challenges are significant but my team, my fellow ministers and I are convinced that together with you we will find constructive solutions to these complex issues. We will reach the necessary agreement to strengthen the European area of freedom, security and justice. Because together we can do more, together we are strong.”

During its Presidency, Bulgaria will make efforts to:

  • Bring the position of Member States closer regarding the Regulation on the jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters in the area of parental responsibility and international child abduction (“Brussels ІІа”). The Presidency is taking into account the fact that the proposal affects a large number of citizens in the Member States and concerns particularly sensitive aspects of their lives.
  • Advance the work on the improved insolvency legal framework. The set of rules seeks to make it easier for enterpreneurs to restructure their business and get a second chance.
  • Work on the reformed corporate law rules once the European Commission has put forward its proposal . Regarding the digitalisation of the corporate law rules, we will seek to combine the possibilities that digital technologies offer with a sound legal framework. The free movement principle will be the Presidency's guiding light in its work on the updated transborder merger rules.
  • Seek progress in the area of contract law, especially with regard to the rules on contracts for the supply of digital content and on online and other distance sales of goods.
  • Take forward the work-life balance rules, which are of key importance in the light of the demographic changes and developments on the labour market.
  • Monitor the positions of Member States on the Women on Boards directive. Should these change, the Presidency stands ready to consider the best way to take forwardthe work on this proposal.

The full statement by Ms Tsacheva is available here (in Bulgarian).

Mr Banov, Minister for Culture, said:

“The creation and distribution of cultural content and European works of art are key elements of the vision for a Digital Single Market.  I will work on these files, which concern citizens, young people and the digital world alike, with pleasure and pride".

He said that the main two dossiers on which Bulgaria would work during its Presidency wee the Regulation laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes and the proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market.

Mr Banov noted that the first trialogue on the first of the two dossiers had taken place earlier in February, following the December decisions by both the European Parliament and Member States to start negotiations on the file. Bulgaria would continue working on the file, seeking to achieve the right balance between the different points of view.

Regarding the second file, the ambition of the Presidency wass to bring  the positions of the  Member States closer together and to reach a Council common position  before the negotiations with the European Parliament kick off. This was expected to happen in the second quarter of the year. Mr Banov expressed his firm belief that the efforts made would lead to common solutions which reflected the current changes in the digital environment and would also be effective  in the future. Solutions that served users, creators and distributors of European cultural content by providing protection, equal treatment and legal certainty.  

Mr Banov also said that the copyright reform should make the EU rules in the sector fit for the digital era by providing better choice and access to content online and across borders, a fairer online environment for creators and the press and improved copyright rules for education, research, cultural heritage and inclusion of disabled people.

Another important piece of legislation in this area was the Marrakesh Treaty on access to published works for blind and visually impaired persons, whose ratification the Council approved earlier in February.

The full statement by Mr Banov is available here (in Bulgarian).

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