For the thirteenth time, from 1 January to 30 June 2024, it is the turn of Belgium to hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). Alongside an array of other topics, intellectual property has also been given an important place in the programme.
Belgium holds new presidency of the Council of the EU
Every six months, the presidency of the Council of the EU rotates to one of the 27 Member States of the European Union. From 1 January 2024 it is the turn of Belgium. The Belgian presidency will coordinate the functioning of the Council and reinforce cooperation among the Member States.
At the heart of the Belgian presidency programme lie 6 topics aimed at working together towards a “safer, more robust and more resilient Europe”. (Source: https://belgian-presidency.consilium.europa.eu/en/)
Among the important goals are facilitating the green transition and digital transformation, for instance, as well as creating a strong and competitive playing field for businesses, especially SMEs.
Intellectual property - an important action point
Effective protection of intellectual property rights in the EU has also been included in the programme as an important action point. The Belgian presidency will work towards an accessible IP system and modernisation of the statutory framework for IP protection.
Specifically, this concerns:
- the remaining work involved in reforming industrial design law;
- new legislative proposals in the field of patents, such as simplifying the issuing of compulsory licences and increasing transparency on standardised technologies;
- further implementation of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, including the exchange of best practices among EU Member States;
- preparation of the positions of the EU and its Member States regarding issues being discussed within the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
Hugues Derème (Deputy Director General, BOIP):
“IP rights are essential levers for any business wanting to invest, grow and survive. This is a significant challenge, especially for SMEs. The fact that the Belgian presidency of the EU is placing so much emphasis on simplifying and modernising IP legislation is a powerful signal. Whether it concerns the reform of industrial design law or the discussions within WIPO, BOIP is playing an active part in the thinking and discussions on these issues, and we will ensure we give our Belgian colleagues the support they need during the term of this presidency.”
More information on the policies and lines of action is available on the website of the Belgian Presidency of the EU. Further information