The Bulgarian EU Presidency is under immense pressure to move the copyright reform forward. Yet it seems like the country is too timid to defend its own interests. A new campaign kicked off in Sofia to try and change that.
Somewhere far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the EU lies a small unregarded country—Bulgaria. In 2018 this Member State will not only be known for resonant voices and rampant corruption, but also for its prominent role in the EU copyright reform. While it holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU it is up to the Bulgarian government to propose new compromises and bring the discussion forward in order to reach a common position between Member States.
But the Council is not Bulgaria’s only copyright stronghold at the moment. The reform falls in the competences of the country’s Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, and 10% of the votes in the lead European Parliament committee (Legal Affairs) are to be cast by MEPs from parties currently making up its governing coalition.
The Bulgarian Compromise, a French Affair?
At the end of 2017 the Council negotiations hit somewhat of a stalemate and the Estonian Presidency was forced to give up, unnerved after trying for months to square the circle between the content industry’s bold demands and fundamental rights for users and the public.
Apparently the Bulgarian Presidency decided to kick 2018 off with a fresh approach. They circulated questions on the most controversial articles of the reform among Member States and then seemed to be proposing a new compromise.