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EU MEP Says Bill Gates Influenced No Restart Decision
Thursday, March 03 2005 @ 03:59 PM EST

NoSoftwarePatents.com has an interesting tidbit on the EU Commission's refusal to grant the EU Parliament's request for a restart on the software patents directive. MEP Dr. Maria Berger, says Bill Gates is making enemies in the EU Parliament because, in her view, the EU Commission "acted in collusion with Microsoft" on the decision:

Brussels (03 March 2005). A high-profile MEP has said that the European Commission acted in collusion with Microsoft when earlier this week it declined the European Parliament's request for a restart of the legislative process concerning the software patent directive. Dr. Maria Berger, the leader of the Austrian social democratic delegation in the EP and the coordinator of the second-largest parliamentary group (PSE) in the Legal Affairs Committee, said in a press release that "the Commission might end up paying dearly for its rash collusion with Microsoft". In her opinion, the Commission adopted the position of Microsoft founder Bill Gates on the subject "without further thought". Gates had visited the Commission and the EP in February.

Dr. Berger describes the letter of the president of the Commission (José Manuel Barroso) to the president of the EP (Josep Borrell), in which a restart of the process is declined, as "yet another provocation of the parliament". She concludes that Barroso "apparently loves to play high-stakes poker with the EP", and recalls that he already suffered his first defeat with that approach last year when he had to withdraw his list of proposed commissioners because the EP would otherwise have withheld its approval. The way she sees the present situation, Barroso may now face another defeat. Dr. Berger concludes saying that Bill Gates, who recently traveled Europe to pressure politicians toward a directive to his liking, "is at the moment making himself ever more enemies in the EP".

The original German-language press release of Dr. Maria Berger MEP is available on the Internet at this address: http://www.spe.at/berger/3/a.html#pm19

Of course, it's not over until it's over. JeR, one of Groklaw's translators, has been kind enough to do an inline translation of her press release from German to English.

*****************************

21.2 Berger: Bill Gates schafft sich im EU-Parlament immer neue Gegner

21.2 Berger: Bill Gates creates more and more enemies in the EU Parliament

Auseinandersetzung um Software-Patente spitzt sich zu

Discussion about software patents amplifies

Von einem "unüberlegten Schulterschluss mit Microsoft, der die EU-Kommission noch teuer zu stehen kommen könnte", spricht Maria Berger, SPÖ-Delegationsleiterin im Europäischen Parlament und SPE-Koordinatorin im Rechtsausschuss, angesichts der jüngsten Entwicklungen in Sachen Softwarepatente. In der Auseinandersetzung um den von Bill Gates gewünschten Schutz für Software-Produkte habe sich die EU-Kommission dazu hinreißen lassen, unüberlegt die Position des US-amerikanischen Milliardärs einzunehmen.

An "ill-considered settlement with Microsoft, that will cost the EU Commision dearly," says Maria Berger, SPÖ delegate in the European Parliament and SPE Coordinator on the Legal Affairs Committee about the latest developments around software patents. In the debate about the protection for software products Bill Gates desires, the EU Commission has led itself to prematurely side with the US American billionaire.

Berger: "Kommissionspräsident José Manuel Barroso hat in einem Brief an EU-Parlamentspräsident Josep Borrell einen Neustart des Verfahrens zur Softwarepatent-Richtlinie abgelehnt. Genau dies hatte das EU-Parlament aber mit großer Mehrheit gefordert." Deshalb, so Berger, auf deren Antrag im Rechtsausschuss der Neustart-Prozess Anfang Februar in Gang gebracht wurde, sei dieses Schreiben eine neuerliche Provokation der europäischen Volksvertretung. Barroso liebe es offenbar, gegenüber dem EU-Parlament hoch zu pokern. Das habe ihm aber im letzten Jahr bei der Bestellung der EU-Kommission bereits seine erste Niederlage beschert.

Berger: "President of the Commission José Manuel Barroso has turned down the restart of the procedure about the software patent guideline in a letter to President of the EU Parliament Josep Borrell, while that is exactly what a large majority in the EU Parliament had called for. That is why, according to Berger, who moved the Legal Affairs Committee to restart the process in early February, this letter constitutes yet another provocation of European democray. Barroso obviously enjoys bidding up to the EU Parliament. That, however, has already led to his earlier defeat last year with the order by the EU Commission.

Berger abschließend: "So wie sich die Situation derzeit darstellt, könnte Barroso nun noch einmal in die selbe Situation geraten. Und auch Bill Gates, der unlängst sogar selbst in Europa unterwegs war, um Druck für eine Richtlinie in seinem Sinn zu machen, schafft sich im Moment immer mehr Gegner im EU-Parlament."

Berger in closing: "The way the situation is right now, Barroso could now land himself in the same situation again. And Bill Gates as well, who recently traveled through Europe to push for a guideline in his favour, is currently creating more and more enemies within the EU Parliament."


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