The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today (14 Feb) published its opinion on the Marrakesh Treaty for the blind, visually impaired or otherwise disabled.
The UN treaty, which gives exceptions in copyright rules for books for the blind and visually impaired, entered into force in September last year, but the EU has not yet ratified it, due to a small number of member states blocking it in the council. The ECJ has ruled that the EU has exclusive competence for the ratification of this treaty, meaning it does not have to wait for member state approval. The European Parliament is currently working on a legislative package to implement the treaty into EU law.
Commenting on the decision, Greens/EFA rapporteur Max Andersson said:
“We welcome the ECJ’s ruling, which confirms the EU's exclusive competence. The EU must now take swift action to ratify the treaty so that EU citizens may benefit from it as soon as possible. This treaty, and today’s ruling, can help millions of blind and visually impaired all over the world to have better access to books in an accessible format.”