A controversial clause specifying whose law to apply in cross-border defamation cases was reinserted into the Rome II' regulation by the European Parliament on 18 January. MEPs, by contrast, removed a specific clause for unfair competition, allowing it instead to be covered by the general rule, i.e. that the law of the country where the damage occurs applies. The EP's second reading text differs substantially from the EU Council of Ministers' common position, so a conciliation committee will be convened to try to forge agreement (co-decision procedure).

Rapporteur Diana Wallis (Liberals, United Kingdom) insisted on bringing back the defamation/privacy violation clause that Parliament proposed at first reading, which the Council scrapped after it split the member states. MEPs say the applicable law should be "the country to which the publication or broadcasting service is principally directed or, if this is not apparent, the country in which editorial control is exercised". This "shall be determined in particular by the language of the publication or broadcast or by sales or audience size in a given country as a proportion of total sales or audience size or by a combination of those factors".

Opposing the move, EU Justice, Freedom and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini told deputies that the Council would never agree to it. Publishers and broadcasters have been lobbying to be excluded from Rome II, fearful that inclusion will open the floodgates for lawsuits against them across the EU. MEPs have adopted a clause saying Rome II "does not prevent member states...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT