After requests for a meeting with the Ministry of the Economy, Investment and Small Business (MEIB) were not upheld, the National Book Council is making this public statement to reiterate its position on the transposition of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.
Apart from being crucial to the intellectual, cultural and educational development of the nation, the book industry is also a net contributor to the country’s gross domestic product. It is a well known public fact that government is currently directing its policy decisions based on the interests of business stakeholders. The National Book Council would like to remind the Minister of the Economy, Honourable Silvio Schembri, that the book industry is comprised of businesses which create jobs of high-value and any decision by his Ministry which affect the book industry should be reflective of the said industry’s demands.
The transposition of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market would mostly affect the publishing industry and by law the National Book Council is the only government entity with the function to represent collective industry positions at government level. The MEIB has no legitimacy whatsoever to lead the transposition of the said directive. Given that the National Book Council falls under the remit of the Ministry of Education, it is therefore logical that the Ministry of Education should take the lead in transposing this directive.
The National Book Council would like to add that the MEIB does not have the expertise, the experience or the know-how to navigate through this directive and any unilateral action on its behalf would surely negatively affect our industry.