The Competitiveness Council of 3 March will try to reach a final compromise on the controversial Community Patent and adopt its contribution for the Spring Council.
Main agenda points for the Competitiveness Council are:
- the Community Patent: the Ministers are very close to a deal after Germany accepted the idea of a centralised Community Patent Tribunal to be located in Luxembourg, linked to the European Court of First Instance; however, the German government still wants a longer transition period for transferring authority from the national to a single European patent court (seeEURACTIV 28 February);
- preparation of the Spring Council: the Council is expected to adopt a contribution on the competitiveness aspects of the Lisbon agenda for the 21 March Spring Council;
- entrepreneurship and industrial policy: a public debate will be held on the Commission's Green Paper "Entrepreneurship in Europe" (seeEURACTIV 23 January) and its Communication on Industrial policy in an enlarged Europe (seeEURACTIV 18 December 2002);
- chemicals review and take-over directive: the Ministers will hear progress reports from the Commission on these two hot issues.
In a special letter to the President of the Competitiveness Council on 26 February,European business association UNICEexpressed its disappointment with the possible compromise on the EU-wide patent. "UNICE considers that the political compromises have already moved the current package well away from the instrument that business needs if it wants to compete with its main counterparts", the letter said, underlining once more the growing frustration of European business with the slow pace of the Lisbon agenda.