As is well known, not least since Mark Twain’s famous and unforgettable analysis, the Awful German Language is full of funny compound words (actually, according to Mark Twain, “they are not words, they are alphabetic processions”) for which no direct equivalent seems to exist in English or any other language.

Schweinsgalopp is one of these words. Its literal translation would be something like “piggish gallop” and when Germans say something is done “im Schweinsgalopp”, we usually mean that it is done in an unduly hasty and messy way. Pretty much the opposite of the virtues Germans are usually proud of, such as thoroughness, deliberation and responsibility.

This takes us directly to the current plans of the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV in German) to rush a second ratification of the UPC Agreement through parliament in an unchanged form, as if nothing had happened in the meantime. True, the BMJV has heard about Brexit and seems to be aware that the UK intends not to participate in the UPC Agreement, yet never mind – the UK has ratified it and so Germany can ratify it too, start the system and the deal with any problems later… somehow. The EU Commission also seems to endorse this view.

Politically, I would respectfully submit that this is just madness. The BMJV seems to take the position that the UK ratification is sufficiently valid and irrevocable that it enables the UPC to be established, but at the same time, it is expected that the UK will officially and in due time revoke its participation to the UPCA so that Germany and France are able to take over the London Central Division when the system starts. And the other UPC member states are apparently supposed to later declare that they are perfectly happy with this approach. The BMJV’s reasons attached to the current draft bill seem to take it as a given that when the UK withdraws, the jurisdiction of its Central Division will automatically cede on the two remaining Central Divisions in Paris and Munich. They do not discuss where this is stated in the UPCA (spoiler: nowhere) nor where this idea comes from (spoiler: possibly out of self-interest, but certainly out of very thin air) nor why they think that this adequately expresses the political will of the other UPC member states. And they seem to ignore the possibility that the UK might perhaps not even want to rush its withdrawal from the UPCA, e.g. because it wishes to tie it to a withdrawal of the EU’s fishing fleet from UK waters or the like (Max Drei and Attentive Observer have elaborated on the UK’s interest in much more depth in their recent comments on this blog).

On top of that, there are significant legal risks. The BMJV seems to believe that the very same UPCA that was declared unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) would now be in conformity with the German constitution, because the FCC had based its decision only on the faulty legislative process in the Bundestag. But it has not remained unnoticed, at least here on this blog, that the FCC also included a bit of a writing on the wall in the famous paragraph 166 of its UPC decision:

2. Insofar as there are indications that the establishment of unconditional primacy of Union law in Article 20 UPCA violates Article 20 (1) and (2) in conjunction with Article 79 (3) of the Basic Law, the Federal Constitutional Court will in principle comprehensively review the measure in question for its compatibility with Article 20 (1) and (2) in conjunction with Article 79 (3) of the Basic Law (cit. omitted). However, it is not necessary to give a final decision thereon in the present case, because the invalidity of the UPCA Approval Law already results from other reasons.

This, together with the interview of the Juge Rapporteur, Prof. Huber in the FAZ, reported by Simon Klopschinski here, should be sufficient to at least think twice about the UPCA in its current form and what could possibly be done to mitigate the FCC’s concerns. Putting your head in the sand (in German Vogel-Strauß-Politik) and ignoring these pretty clear statements is a solution that may very well end in disaster once more.

This takes us to the third German compound word that I would like to introduce today, i.e. Mautdebakel. Its literal translation is “toll debacle”. The term aptly summarizes what happened the last time fundamental legal concerns raised by various experts were ignored by the responsible (not to say competent) government minister in order to score cheap political points. Slightly simplified, the story goes like this: The German minister of traffic, a Bavarian, was annoyed that he and his countrymen have to pay a lot of road toll in Austria, Italy etc., yet the Austrians, Italians etc. get a free ride on Germany’s beloved highways. This cannot be right, he and his party thought, so let’s introduce a road toll for foreigners. Not so fast, argued the lawyers of his ministry, we live in the EU, so we cannot disadvantage other EU citizens. Therefore, the road toll must apply to Germans likewise. Okay okay, responded the minister, but then let’s reduce our German car tax so that Germans at least do not have to pay more as a result of this toll bill, because this would make me very unpopular. Hmmm, argued the EU experts, but this will most probably not be accepted by the CJEU as it has the same effect as a toll just for foreigners. Go whistle, said the minister, we’ll do it anyway. So bills introducing the toll system and reducing the car tax were passed, agreements with companies that were supposed to be responsible for collecting the road toll were concluded… and then came the predicted big blow by the CJEU: the bill was found to violate EU law and was invalidated. And now the prospective toll companies request the government to honor its obligations against them or to pay a significant amount of damages.

Should this not be a lesson to our BMJV? It should. All the more since just recently the ministries of traffic and of justice jointly failed again in formulating a law so that it has the desired legal effect. This time, the plan was to amend the Straßenverkehrsordnung (Road Traffic Regulations) so as to penalize speeders even harsher than before. However, owing to a technical drafting mistake that was overlooked by the BMJV, the new Regulations are most likely invalid, because they fail to cite the law on which they are based. Sometimes, it is really worthwhile asking your experts for advice, allowing them the necessary time to provide it and then listening to what they have to say. This is perfectly possible and normally secures a pretty reasonable outcome, as Germany’s COVID-19 story has shown.

As has been comprehensively reported here, several experts and interest groups have now taken a stand on the draft ratification bill. For what it’s worth, my own take on the various position statements is this. There are, unsurprisingly, proponents for and proponents against the BMJV’s planned (early) ratification. Yet the quality and depth of the arguments presented by the opponents of an immediate ratification do really outweigh those of its supporters. Indeed, it is probably fair to say that the supporters have not presented a single argument in their position papers why a ratification in Schweinsgalopp would be unproblematic and legally safe. Either they have not recognized the problems or they chose to ignore them. With that, a second Mautdebakel is looming.

In my opinion, such a debacle is easily avoidable. The BMJV should think twice about its draft bill. Germany should only ratify once the UK has indeed formally terminated its participation in the UPCA; when there is clarity and political agreement on the division of competences of the Central Division(s); and when measures have been taken that mitigate the risk of another invalidation of the bill by the FCC. Very sensible proposals in this regard have been put on the table by some of the expert commenters; they should be carefully considered and taken seriously.

That being said, the current situation post Brexit might offer a unique opportunity to re-think the entire EU patent strategy and the UPCA project a bit more generally. It is probably difficult to deny, as the EU Commission recently put it, that within the single market, divergence between the different national IP titles creates fragmentation and unequal conditions of trade within the EU. At present, there are only national patents and EP bundle patents that have the same effect as national patents within the EPC states in which they are validated. The EU Patent Package intended to improve this situation by establishing a “unitary patent” and a “Unified Patent Court”. While this is laudable in principle, let us be honest: The current UPCA further divides, rather than unifies the European patent landscape. Two of the five largest countries within the EU27, i.e. Spain and Poland, do not want to participate in the UPCA from the outset. HU has constitutional obstacles, CZ political ones that seem to prevent them from ratifying. IE, GR, CY, RO, SI and SK have also not ratified the UPCA as of yet. Thus, there will be a “UPC territory” and a “non-UPC territory” within the EU internal market for the foreseeable future. This state of affairs cannot be considered satisfactory and does not serve the European integration in the end.

Moreover, and even more fundamentally, it is remarkable that the EU has no direct say in the most important institution implementing patent policy in Europe, i.e. the European Patent Office. Maybe the EU should really think of being more courageous and consequential, i.e. to leave (or remodel) the EPC and to assign the sole competence for granting patents with effect for the EU to the EU IPO and the competence for their enforcement and for checking the correctness of decisions of the EU IPO to a true EU court (“one-stop-shop”). The EU IPO would clearly be much better suited to implement EU policy than the (current) EPO. Moreover, it would be firmly placed within the political, financial and jurisdictional framework of the EU, rather than being a small state of its own (Eponia). This would also avoid the constitutional problems arising from a patent office that is able to finally refuse applications or revoke patents without legal redress being possible against such a decision by an independent court.

Yes, I know that this will be anything but easy. But if the European Union really wants to bundle and strengthen its approach to patents, this is probably the road that it should go.


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17 comments

  1. Not mentioning the 4 other constitutional complaints against the EPO for violation of the “rule of law” (art2 TFEU), the EPO cannot be sued for maladministration.

    So the BMJV knows about those 4 pending cases, but want to mull the UPCA through because the Brexit transition period ends on 31st December 2020.

    I guess Mr Breton will find a legal way to say the UK is out of the UPCA by the 1st January 2021. He could just recall the decision of the FCC saying the UPCA is only open to EU member states.

  2. Very good comment with which I fully agree.

    However, I have been starting to wonder whether the UPCA will actually survive a potential second constitutional complaint. True, the Constitutional Court raised several aspects that did not have to be decided last time but also true, at that time the Second Senate of the Constitutional Court consisted of a majority of rather EU sceptical Judges (cf. the latest ECB judgment). However, there have been some changes of staff in the Second Senate recently which arguably has shifted the majority towards being rather EU-friendly.

    Against this background, I would not be surprised if the Constitutional Court would let the UPC pass next time (even though in my opinion there are a couple of issues that are very problematic).

    Or, in the words of Hon. Charles Evans Hughes: “the constitution is what the Judges say it is (…).”

  3. After the “Schweinsgalopp” (helter-skelter rush?) perhaps it is time for a “Denkpause” after the UK’s withdrawal from the agreement.

  4. Prompted by Thorsten’s excellent piece, it occurs to me that there is a way forward, if there is a will amongst the surviving EU Member States.

    I recall somebody suggesting that the biggest obstacle to the adoption of English as the single working language of the EU was UK membership. The UK would be perceived as having an unfair advantage. But now the UK has gone, is there any Member state left with English as its ONLY national language? Even the republic of Ireland has the Gaelic. The way is more free now, for FR and DE gracefully to step back, and agree that English shall be the single working language of the EU. That’s one example of new opportunities opening up with the secession of the “United” Kingdom.

    Back in the 1970’s, Europe built the EPC, a wonderful achievement which has proved to be the model, the template, the benchmark, for patent law world-wide. A common regime for patent litigation was, however, a step too far. But perhaps today, with the UK having walked off the playing field, the moment has arrived, when the EU could write a template for international patent litigation? What a statement that would be, that there is life in Old Europe yet.

    We have a G7 and we have a G20. There are moves afoot to create a G10. Excellent idea. Given enough of a following wind from Flinten Uschi and the EU Commission, the EU could put together a plan for international patent litigation which, for our generation, does for patent infringement disputes as super a job as the EPC did, and increasingly does, better and better, for international patent validity disputes. In the favourite words of Boris Johnson, even “world-beating”. Why not for patent litigation too? Let’s be bold and brash, in areas where it is still possible.

    1. Max, I believe that Welsh is an official language of the United Kingdom (well, a part of it) and Gaelic, although not an official language, does(did) have special status in Scotland.

  5. “Maybe the EU should really think of being more courageous and consequential, i.e. […] to assign the sole competence for granting patents with effect for the EU to the EU IPO “.
    This would also give the EPO Examiners access to a proper Court in employment cases, parliamentary oversight, an ombudsman, and robust social security and pensions.

  6. Whilst I can agree with Mr Bausch that it would be foolish for Germany to hastily ratify the UPCA, as such a move is much too risky, I have fundamental reservations about his proposal to involve the EUIPO.

    The German Ministry of Justice has been warned, but if it prefers under the pressure of lobbies to ratify and stick its head in the sand, it will end up in a disaster. My late grandfather used to say if you stick your head in the sand, do not be surprised that your behind will get bruised.

    I can agree that the current UPCA further divides, rather than unifies the European patent landscape. Not only Poland but also the Czech Republic has announced that it will not ratify the UPC.

    I also remind what has been said at the bottom of the document stemming from the European business community:
    “This paper and the positions reflected in it are not supported by the Spanish Confederation of Employers and Industries (CEOE), Confederação Empresarial de Portugal (CIP), the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SPCR) and MGYOSZ –BUSINESSHUNGARY”.

    I could see indeed Slovakia joining Poland and the Czech Republic. Slovenia has not yet ratified, but will have to as an arbitration chamber should be set up in this country. Not only the Portuguese business association has reservations about the UPC, but Portuguese representatives were also against the UPC. But as an arbitration chamber will be located in Portugal, the UPC was ratified by Portugal. It reminds me of what happens at the AC of the EPO: if you are nice, you will get a perk….

    As to Mr Bausch’s proposal, I would first note that the EU cannot leave the EPC as the EU is not party to the EPC. Mr Bausch’s proposal is flawed for this reason alone. What is suggested by Mr Bausch is to set up a system exclusively for the benefit of EU contracting states.

    I doubt that a consensus will be reached as already the EU Regulation No 1257/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2012 was only meant to implement an enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection. So even in 2012 not all EU member states were willing to accept a common court.

    A new treaty within the EU relating to a common patent court was not something wished, for whatever reason, by all EU member states. When dealing with the Spanish complaints, the then Advocate General insisted upon the obligation for all EU member states to participate in the enhanced cooperation. It did not alter the negative position of some member states. The EU member states which were against a common court, stayed against a common court.

    It is manifest “that the EU has no direct say in the most important institution implementing patent policy in Europe, i.e. the European Patent Office”, but one should not forget that at the time of the signature of the EPC a lot of countries now in the EU were not. Two countries having a patent tradition like Austria and Sweden were not EU member states when the EPC was signed. It should also be remembered that all countries of Eastern Europe were first “extension states” in the EPC before coming full member states of the EU. The EPO has thus played an important role in the integration of Europe, even in the absence of any organic links between the two institutions.

    Historically, there were four drafts for a Community Patent Convention, but as it was a closed convention only open to EU member states, it was not expected to be successful as important countries in patent matters were not at the time member of the EU. Two countries come to mind which will never be members of the EU which are Switzerland and Norway. But they are in the EPC.

    Under the pressure of the PCT, it was the then President of the German Patent Office, who proposed the solution to split the grant of the IP title and the exploitation of the IP title. This lead to the EPC, i.e. the Munich Convention of 1973 which is an open convention, and then to the Luxembourg convention on the Community Patent of 1975 which is a closed convention as the UPCA is. The Luxembourg convention was dead borne, mainly for the fear of forum shopping and the linguistic regime.

    The EPLA was an attempt to have an open convention as the EPC is, but the famous opinion C 1/09 brought an end to this idea.

  7. The UPC has not fully solved the problem of forum shopping when it comes to infringement, as only nullity is to be decided at the central (?) division. The linguistic regime is not as clean as the proponents of the UPC make out, as it is not necessarily the language in which the patent has been granted which can be used in a local or regional division.

    Depending on the local court, oral proceedings can even be held in the national language of the country in which the court sits. See Art 49.1-49.2 UPCA + R 14 UPC, and especially R 14(2, c) UPC, the so-called “English limited clause”. It might not come into play often, but it is there.

    I agree that Eponia has become a small state of its own, and this is not acceptable. But this is due to the deleterious influence of the past and present heads of the EPO, and the failure of the AC to carry out its duty, that is to control the management of the EPO.

    Presently it is the tail wagging the dog, and it will stay like this until the AC wakes up. That is a pity. Would the past and present management have been at the helm of the EPO in its early days, the EPO would never have become what it is was up to 2012.

    What Mr Bausch is proposing is no less than scuttling the EPO. That is not acceptable. It is not because the past and present management behave abominably that it is necessary to dispose of the baby with the bathwater.

    The EPO is one of the success stories of Europe, and by Europe I mean here more than just the EU. The more I think about it, I find that the hidden agenda of the past and present heads of the EPO is to kill it, so that indeed the UPC can prevail.

    I am deeply disappointed with Mr Bausch’s proposal as it would only play in the hands of those who want to reduce the EPO to a mere rubber stamping organisation which should quickly grant everything passing the desk of its examiners so that a “good” court could then separate the wheat from the chaff. Has he really envisaged this consequence? It would also mean less work for representatives, as the EPO would die.

    A common system run by the EUIPO would also allow a concentrated attack from non-EU patent proprietors which will still be in a larger number than EU patent proprietors.

    The Boards of Appeal of the EPO have developed a set of rules which are clear and can be followed. The rules might not be of the liking of everybody, but they are predictable.

    That’s why I have another proposal to repeat. Why not allow oppositions to be filed over the whole life of the patent. After all, the proprietor is allowed to limit its patent over its whole life. That would avoid a clash between the case law of the boards of appeal and the case law of the UPC or whatever it might be called in matters of validity. In other words I propose a kind of European bifurcation.

    The UPC or whatever it might be called would be exclusively dealing with infringement

    This however presupposes that the boards of appeal of the EPO are not perceived as being independent, but are truly independent. That entails amendments to the EPC, but why not? With truly independent boards of appeal, that is which have a separate budget and decide by themselves how many members they need, and not be submitted to the whim of the head of the EPO.

    Presently the chairman of the boards of appeal has only the powers delegated to him by the president. I do not call those double hand cuffs imposed to the boards as allowing them to be independent. Proposals in this direction were done in the years 2004-2005. That would be a good topic for a conference of ministers in charge of IP in accordance with Art 4a EPC.

    This would also allow a reasonably managed EPO to continue its important role in the integration of Europe, a Europe larger than the EU. No need to conclude validation agreements with foreign countries, which are only filing, if at all very few applications, the EPO should rather do its job first and correctly here in Europe.

    The UPC or whatever it might be called would be exclusively dealing with infringement

    This however presupposes that the boards of appeal of the EPO are not perceived as being independent, but are truly independent. That entails amendments to the EPC, but why not? With truly independent boards of appeal, that is which have a separate budget and decide by themselves how many members they need, and not be submitted to the whim of the head of the EPO.

    Presently the chairman of the boards of appeal has only the powers delegated to him by the president. I do not call those double hand cuffs imposed to the boards as allowing them to be independent. Proposals in this direction were done in the years 2004-2005. That would be a good topic for a conference of ministers in charge of IP in accordance with Art 4a EPC.

    This would also allow a reasonably managed EPO to continue its important role in the integration of Europe, a Europe larger than the EU. No need to conclude validation agreements with foreign countries, which are only filing, if at all very few applications, the EPO should rather do its job first and correctly here in Europe.

  8. Sorry, I made a mistake as some sentences are repeated in the second part of my comment.

    But throwing away all what has been achieved at the EPO just because the past and present heads of the EPO are considering the latter as a playground for their pseudo managerial games would deny all the efforts put in the EPO over the years. The EPO is a true pan-European success story! Please do not forget this in spite of an understandable annoyance of what is going on at the EPO.

    Peter’s solution would also mean that the EPO as we know it would be sculled. I beg to disagree.

    What has to change at the EPO is to give staff proper means of redress starting with a true internal appeals committee worthy of the name and not subordinate to the management of the Office.

    After having exhausted their internal means of redress, EPO staff should just not be left with a tribunal which is no more than an administrative body exhausting its actions by checking that valid procedures have been applied. Sometimes it is not the complaint which should be analysed as such vs. the procedure, but rather the internal procedures which give an undue advantage to the management.

    As long as the management of the EPO will be allowed to hide behind an alleged immunity, the situation at the EPO will not improve.

  9. I feel that people are too focussed on the consitutional aspects. The UPC implementing law could potentially state that it “infringes basic law” as it is the case in some other national laws that limit certain rights mentioned in the Basic Law. What the BVerfG will probably also acknowledge is that a 2/3 majority in the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, if achieved in the next run, cannot easily be waived away with minor formalities considering that such a majority could also change the Grundgesetz itself which could be the strategy for a third try in case the next one also fails. If the Basic Law contains a reference to the UPC and the primacy of Union Law as far as the UPC is concerned, the matter should be clear.

  10. @ Peter

    If a 2/3 majority is achieved in the next run, you claim that it cannot easily be waived away with “minor formalities” considering that such a majority could also change the Grundgesetz itself which could be the strategy for a third try in case the next one also fails.

    In my humble opinion, it is not a “minor formality”, and the Basic Law does not contain any reference to the UPC and hence to the primacy of Union Law as far as the UPC is concerned.

    You cannot write in the Basic Law things which are not in it and do as if they were there.

    It might look as a nice suggestion to imply that supremacy of Union Law is implicit because a similar majority would be needed for such an amendment, but said amendment is simply not there.

  11. Pardon my French Mr Parker: This is hairraising.

    You have displayed your obsession with Parliamentary majorities here before and it is not for no reason that none of your theories have come to pass. In general, I don’t mind the typical ‘Team UPC’ wishful-thinking-hot-air clumsily declared to be legal theory, but your ideas have something deeply totalitarian to them, at least from a German perspective.

    There is nothing like the British concept of Parliamentary supremacy in German constitutional law, this is a major lesson learned from history. There are contents that are unchangeable, ‘off limits’ even to an unanimous majority by all members of Parliament. You should have noted by now, because this is where most of the UPCA constitutional complaint derived from and what will also be a very serious obstacle to future attempts to ratify the UPCA in its present form.

    In your words: Any Parliamentary majority voting in favor of German UPCA ratification can easily be waived away based on the aforementioned ‘minor formalities’.

  12. @Booterbloom
    @Attentive Observer:

    I understand your reservations and I agree the Basic law is either changed or it is not changed (unless the BVerfG endorses the “dynamic interpretation” of the Basic law akin to the EPO 😉 ). However, the BverfG is a consitutional organ as much as a court and will therefore likely assess all relevant circumstances of the case when/if rendering a decision. And the facts that there are 2/3 majorities in two chambers and that there was a long and public discussion about the matter before the votes took place will surely also play a role in their considerations. They will factor in that this is not a covert half-try by the legislator but one of the few cases in history where there is broad poltical support across all parties of a law (assuming the 2/3s in both chambers are achieved). What they will likely also factor in is that “primacy of Union law” does not mean the door is opened for utter lawlessness and disregard for basic human rights. We are not talking about North Korea but about the EU that is brought more into the UPC sphere – considering that the BVerfG has been historically very open for deeper integration of Germany into the EU, it is difficult for me to see what could be so fundamentally wrong with EU law and judicative in the eyes of the BVerfG that the UPC laws in light of 2/3 majorities supporiting the matter has to be stopped.

    1. Peter,

      There is really only one way to describe your attitude and approach: wilful blindness.

      The BVerfG only remains the ultimate guardian of the Basic Law in Germany for as long as there is no way in which EU law can assume automatic supremacy (i.e. without any route by which the BVerfG can check for compliance with the Basic Law).

      Therefore, as far as I understand it, the unconditional supremacy of EU law in the UPC Agreement represents MAJOR problem from the point of view of the BVerfG. This is because that Agreement creates a new court that SUPPLANTS the role of German national courts, INCLUDING the BVerfG… which would create a situation in which the BVerfG would no longer be able to check new EU laws (that are relevant to decisions of the UPC) for compliance with the Basic Law.

      Whether by accident or design, the arguments of the BMJV did not adequately address this fundamental problem (not least because the TIME-LIMITED possibility of objection BY A CONTRACTING MEMBER STATE under Article 87(3) UPCA is clearly no substitute for the role currently performed by the BVefrG, in response to complaints by individuals or legal entities). Given that it is a problem that is not going to go away (as it is hard-baked into the UPC Agreement), I think that Thorsten nailed the approach of the BMJV when he described the proposed ratification as being done “im Schweinsgalopp”.

  13. @ Peter Parker

    You seem to take for granted that a 2/3 majority will be obtained in both chambers. I would not be as sure as you are. The required majority goes well beyond the sum of MPs of the ruling coalition. I do not have the exact figures, but it requires quite a few more.

    If the MPs are correctly informed in whose interest and for whose benefit the whole UPC is, and all the risks involved by ratifying without amending Art 7(2) UPCA or the Protocol of Provisional Application which still mentions the UK, they might think twice before simply agreeing on the ratification.

    That the Ministry of Justice will only inform MPs in a “positive” way is acquired. But it is the role of the public at large to draw the attention of the MPs off all the dangers linked to a precipitated ratification. I do not know if it is possible, but a summary of the comments filed with the Ministry of Justice should at least be given to all MPs. The corresponding publication on Kluwer Blog could be a good base.

    Any MP which is not blindly following party discipline should think twice before approving such a mess.

    That “the BVerG has been historically very open for deeper integration of Germany into the EU” is not to be denied, but when one sees the decision of the BVerfG with the bonds purchase of the ECB, it has probably a more differentiated view. The rapporteur of the ECB decision and the rapporteur of the UPC ratification denial is the same person. He made his point of view very clear, about supremacy of EU law in an interview in FAZ. The BVerG has added a Point 106 of its own volition dealing announcing a possible problem with Art 20-21 UPCA.

    Ignoring this point as done in the explanatory notes for the new ratification bill, or belittling it as done by Mr Tilmann is not a wise attitude. It might backfire. This is also something which has to be made clear to the MPs.

    There is nothing “fundamentally wrong with EU law”, but the way the UPCA, which is not EU legislation, is pushed down our throats is not correct. And this seems something you are not understanding or do not want to understand as you are always coming up with your 273 majorities which are anything but reached.

  14. An interesting view coming from Ireland!

    https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=643fcd24-d3b1-4ac2-8085-9ab45b01aa72&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+General+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2020-07-24&utm_term=

    One thing is sure Art 7(2) UPCA remains a stumbling block.

    One more nail in the coffin of the new attempt for Germany to attempt an new ratification. The common declaration under Art 33(1) VLCT wished by the Ministry of Justice seems less and less probable.

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