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The extraordinary meltdown at the European Patent Office (EPO) has started to draw political attention, with the Dutch parliament planning a debate on the organization and its ongoing problems. Socialist member of the Netherlands Parliament, MP Sharon Gesthuizen, received strong backing to her request for the debate following …
On the contrary. This situation would actually be a lot easier to resolve if the EPO had been an EU institution. It would have proper Parliamentary oversight for instance and the ability to sack key people in governance.
It might still be a potential outcome if you ask me. Replace the current EPO with one that sits under EU oversight but with associate membership for those countries that want to be part of a harmonised European patent landscape but are not members of the EU.
I'll believe it when I see it Len! Having real world experience dealing with actual EU institutions leads me to precisely the opposite conclusion.
The EU's idea of efficiency is to move its HQ every month from Brussels to Strasbourg for just 4 days. Everyone else voted to scrap the arrangement but the French have veto power. So £100 million per year of EU taxpayer money gets pissed up the wall to stop the French getting stroppy.
Therein lies the problem. Shit just doesn't get done when you're constantly having to appease the fragile sensibilities of 28 member states.
The EU doesn't move its HQ to Strasbourg every month. You're confused with Parliament.
Parliament is officially based in Strasbourg but since the mid 80's spends most of its time in Brussels, that is a more obvious location for them to be in practice. That is indeed a problem that I'd like to see resolved but has very little to do with the EU as a whole, its institutions (none of the other EU institutions ever move their HQ) or a potential solution for the EPO mess.
> Having real world experience dealing with actual EU institutions leads me to precisely the opposite conclusion.
Care to give any examples? It just so happens that I also have experience dealing with the Commission, Parliament, Ombudsman, and one other major EU agency.
Out of those, the Parliament does strike me as a bit of a gimmick--surely it could be downsized to 1/5th or 1/10th the current size and it'd work just as well (or just as badly, depending on your point of view). There are only three groups in there anyway: the left, the right, everyone else.
The Ombudsman is incredibly politicised so they could do with a bit of a shakedown.
The EC and the other agency I found to be efficient and pretty strict about how their money is spent. Overall, they get a better score in my books than most national institutions I've dealt with.
[ And I also quite like that I can use a single language to deal with matters at the EU level. I already speak six languages, which I use almost every day, and it's still not enough given that, for professional reasons, I need to deal with a large number of European governments. I'm not complaining about that and I'm all for expressing identity through language, but it does make life a bit harder sometimes. ]
remind us how long it been since they managed to get their accounts signed off ?
Its a great gravy train that is true and virtual impossible to be sacked from unless that is you are a whistle blower about corruption in which case your a very well paid-off but ex-employ
> remind us how long it been since they managed to get their accounts signed off ?
Who? The EPO I have no idea or interest to know.
But your "question" is strongly reminiscent of a certain myth that has spread amongst the lower classes in the UK, and concerns the EU (which has nothing to do with the EPO). For those, that'd be five weeks, as you would know if you actually bothered to check stuff before you put your trust in it.
"I know nothing about this other than what I've just read - but I note:"
I have read this story in El Reg (many articles) but I am Septic, so I haven't heard about this from any of "our" sources. But even then you've missed a fiar few points:
This article just reads like the one Authority who can curb this EPO debacle and depose Battistelli is finally waking up, and threatening to count to three...
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