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All Quiet Now May 20, 2009

Posted by Dominic in Uncategorized.
Brussels must be quiet, now the MEPs have returned to their countries for the elections. Before they left, they voted through the Term of Protection Directive with a big majority. That legislation now sits with the European Council where there is majority support, but not yet a big enough majority for it to be passed into law.
While there has been so much bad press about our politicians, it is worth reflecting on this small insight into the work they do that does not hit the front pages. Individually, a number of MEPs took time to talk to a wide range of people about the proposal and read up on its likely effects. It was these MEPs who debated the legislation in the culture, industry, internal market and legal affairs committees, considering the different angles. A number of them wanted to improve the position of performers and between them, they approved several amendments that would enhance the royalty payments to musicians and give artists more control over their recordings. Finally, they talked to their colleagues so that when the proposal reached the plenary session, where all 785 MEPs vote through legislation, they were able to approve it with a large majority.
What also go unseen are the individual letters and emails that are sent to constituents who write in. A number of musicians have commented to me that they have been impressed on hearing that their MEP has listened to them and taken up their cause. A few have had the reverse effect. When the reply demonstrates that that MEP has not listened and has not grasped the issue, it is unsurprisingly counterproductive.
It is interesting to speculate how these constituents will vote. Will they be swayed by what they read in the media or by their own personal experience of their MEPs?
If you want to see for yourself how the MEPs voted, the list is on the website http://www.ppluk.com/en/News–Events/other/Fair-Play-for-Musicians-in-Europe/Folder/How-They-Voted/.


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