I have met up at lunch with Franceska xxx and Rob van Kranenburg who both work with Internet of Things. It was nice. I had a sandwich.
I am now in the not-Mickey Mouse-bar (NMMB from now on), where I ran into Benjamin Henrion from FFII. I followed his tweets on the Nellie Kroes-hearing yesterday. She is the new Commissioner of DG Telecoms. He is dissatisfied with her view on patents. I am currently speaking with Maxime, from Trautmann’s office. He seems not to be satisfied with the Kroes hearing either: she was too vague on telecoms market competition. Even as she has been good at coming down on near monopoly situations in the software (Microsoft cases) and telecommunications markets (Telefónica and BT), in the latter cases it hasn’t made a lot of difference for the bad situations in Spain and the UK.
Spanish broadband prices still exceed the European average by some 12%. In the UK, the infrastructure is owned predominantly by BT which obviously gives them the power to control the conditions under which other service providers can act.
Kroes, he says, was vague on open standards, but for commercial net neutrality. It’s not an optimal point of view, because another pressing issue is member state willingness to filter child pornography, sites on holocaust or jihad instigating pages. It is something we will have the change.
At 03:00 hours I realised that the EU-South Korea FTA could have been on the agenda on the 18-21 January in Strasbourg. That would have meant that the European Parliament would have approved a trade agreement that would have efficiently cut off the legislative powers of the European Parliament. Now, Henrion tells me today that the counter-argument is that IPRED1 is already acquis communautaire, which means that at least EPP will not see this as cutting off legislative power. The FTA is incredibly detailed, and will limit the parliament’s options when changing legislation considerably. We’re locking ourselves in, and that’s bad.
But, since IPRED1 belongs to the acquis communautaire, being already legislation (acquis communautaire is everything included in http://eur-lex.eu), the Commission does not supercede their mandate simply by introducing copy-pasted legislative text in a trade agreement. So the question is what legislative powers the Parliament does have. Within what frames can the Parliament legislate? According to the acquis communautaire, what liberties does the Parliament have to do whatever they want?
The intuitive answer is of course everything. A legislative power such as the Parliament is legislative because they can create legislation, all legislation. But we really need a framework treaty or any other legislative document that supports that.
The only thing I can find related to the FTA on the agenda for next week is a question on the FTA. Which calms me down, because it means another month to work with this.
I now have a badge for entering the parliament and getting out of it without too much pain. My further work this afternoon will consist of finally reading up on the internet of things, work more on the diffs between the recent FTAs/CETAs and existing EU legislation and finish off the ECTA annual report. Between networking, journalists and going for lunch, I really end up having too little time to do stuff that needs to be done.