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While some understand the 'Berlaymont' façade as symbol for a spirit of transparency, openness, and citizen involvement of EU policy making, others only recognise a good business for window wipers.

The epic and painful process of drafting and implementing a unified European patent infrastructure, which got stuck again on the latest Competitiveness Council meeting of 31 May/1 June 2012 (see our reports here and here as well as further coverage [1], [2]) discloses frightening mechanisms and structural deficiencies of the European policy-making process that may endanger stability and acceptance of and confidence in the European Union as a whole, particularly before the background of the current severe financial and depths crisis that shakes the Union like nothing else before.

Upon a closer look at the process, four major problems can be identified that prevent EU politicians to find a reasonable solution satisfying the needs of the European innovative economy:

  1. Ignorance as to users and experts and their mostly well-founded observations;
  2. A striking lack of transparency preventing public involvement;
  3. An information policy that disguises more than it discloses; and
  4. National egoisms, inappropriate horse-trading and power games.

Below I collect some striking examples of each of the above four phenomena.

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But Hey, Don't Postpone Joy

After months of intense debate in the EU Council and the EU Parliament’s Legal Affair’s Committee (JURI), the European Parliament was scheduled to have its fist plenary session on the EU Patent Package (Unitary Patent Regulation, Language Regime Regulation, Unified Patent Court Agreement) on coming Wednesday, 14 February 2012.

While Google Search still delivers an entry “Plenary sitting – European Parliament Tuesday, 14 February 2012 Draft agenda. 09:00 – 10:20 Debates. European patent. Creation of unitary patent protection.“, the final draft agenda now announces a Fisheries debate instead.

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