Estonia not supporting EU copyright directive in Monday EU council vote

Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonia will abstain in the Monday vote on the European Union's Copyright Directive at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, the Ministry of Justice announced. Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said that the new directive at this point doesn't achieve the "necessary balance."

For the directive to be adopted, a qualified majority of member states on the council is needed. Only votes in favour will count, spokespeople for the Justice Ministry said.

Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu commented that following their assessment of the directive, they came to the conclusion that keeping in mind the future of the freedom of the Internet, the directive as is doesn't have the "necessary balance" that could be expected.

"Freedom is a very important value, and for that reason Estonia will not say yes to this thing today, and will remain neutral in the legal sense," Mr Reinsalu was quoted as saying in a Monday press release.

Estonia's permanent representative at the EU submitted a declaration last week according to which the new directive lacks sufficient balance between copyright holders, people and businesses.

The directive in its current form may prevent innovation and have a negative impact on the competitiveness of the EU digital single market. Besides, it may actually not meet the requirement of legal clarity, which would hamper its implementation, the declaration stated.

Another reason for Estonia's position in this case is that the new Riigikogu hasn't had an opportunity yet to come to an opinion of its own.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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