The number of products suspected of violating intellectual property rights detained by EU Customs has constantly increased, reaching the number of 115 million in 2011. According to the Commission’s annual report, these products represented almost 1.3 billion €. This is an essential issue for businesses who, for many of them, see the situation getting worse year after year.
In this context, our members were looking forward to listening to the intervention of Commissioner Semeta, who has been since 2010 responsible for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud. In his speech, the Commissioner first focused on the state of things and the role of the European Commission in its fight against IPR infringements. Then, Commissioner Semeta told our members about all the European initiatives launched in order to settle the matter. He touched upon different aspects of the problem, and gave the example of the very tough fight of the tobacco industry against counterfeiting – remembering the audience that, in the EU, 50% of illegal cigarettes seized are counterfeit products.
Over breakfast, participants entered the conversation with Commissioner Semeta, asking him various questions and showing their deep concern on the capacities of the industry and the EU to better protect Intellectual Property Rights.
Speaker: Algirdas Semeta, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud
Topic: Preventing IPR infringements at EU borders: the role of EU customs legislation
Thursday 27 September 2012
Over lunch, the discussion focused on the priorities of the Council of the EU in the area of organised crime and terrorism. Topics that were raised concerned the harmonization of criminal offences, the approximation of legislation, common definitions and initiatives between member states, relevant actors and previous projects.
During the Q&A, the discussion focused on
- Directive on copyright concerning the cooperation with the European Parliament
- The influence and support of the EP
- The advantages of approximation of legislation
- The exchange of best practices concerning the intelligence specter
- The future conclusions of Europol on the Council priorities for action
- Involvement of Eurojust in the work of the Council
Topic: Protecting Europe: the role of police and customs cooperation in the fight against serious and organized crime, as well as terrorism
- Mr Roland Genson – Director, Justice & Home Affairs, General Secretariat of the Council of the EU
- Mrs Nathalie Pensaert – Head of Unit, police and customs cooperation, General Secretariat of the Council of the EU
Supported by the Business Security task force – Tuesday, 7 February 2012
The discussion touched upon topics such as implementation and evaluation of the Customs Union; the efficiency of customs in Europe and the comparison with the American example; The protection of citizens and businesses; procedures, goals, limitations, rules, conditions, responsibility and standards.
Speaker: Mr Miroslaw Zielinski – Director, Customs Policy, Legislation, Tariffs, DG TAXUD
Topic: The future of the Customs Union. What are the challenges and opportunities in safeguarding the Single Market and protecting its citizens?
Supported by the Business Security task force – Wednesday, 18th January 2012