Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Scrutiny of EU Legislative Proposals
There is one Schedule A proposal for decision and there are eight proposals and three notices listed in Schedule B for decision. I propose to deal with Schedule B items first. The proposals listed under Schedule B are as follows: COM (2013) 688, COM (2013) 689, COM (2013) 718, COM (2013) 746, COM (2013) 802, COM (2013) 835, COM (2013) 926 and COM (2014) 3. We also have three early warning notices, as follows: EWN (2013) L 316-8; EWN (2013) C 371-19; and EWN (2013) C372-21. It is proposed that the proposals and notices listed in Schedule B do not warrant further scrutiny. Is that agreed? Agreed.
Under Schedule A we have one proposal, COM (2013) 813 (final), a proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information - trade secrets - against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. This proposal seeks to protect business know-how and commercially sensitive and valuable information or trade secrets against theft, misuse or disclosure. It will introduce consistent rules across the Internal Market. The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation welcomes it and negotiations on the specific provisions of legislation will be informed by a public consultation by the Department, currently under way. We will be able to raise this with the Minister at the next meeting before the meeting of the EU Council of Ministers.
The Department will carry out its consultation, from which we can benefit, but it might be useful for us to also write to some of the organisations that would represent the sectors that would be affected to seek their opinions. If it means at some point transposing a directive we should be as well informed as possible. If the Minister is to come before a Council meeting it provides us with an opportunity to put questions that those sectors will put to us. It would be useful for us to do that.
It is proposed, and we all agree, that the proposal warrants further scrutiny by the joint committee. We will seek the opinion of some of the sector representatives and will raise it with the Minister during the pre-Council engagement here in a couple of months time. Is that agreed? Agreed.