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A summary of the EU Council of Ministers meeting of 18 May 2004 where the (now rejected) software patents directive was discussed.

The European Parliament heavily amended the original Commission proposal in its first reading of 23 September 2003, so as to prevent the codification of software patents in Europe rather than enforcing them. The European Commission, the Council presidency and a number of other Council members did not like this and wanted to throw out or water down all significant amendments by the European Parliament.

Here you can see how they did that, and got away with it until the European Parliament finally rejected the directive in July 2005.

I hope this video can give some insight in how politics at on of the highest levels of the EU works, and that it demonstrates that more democratic control is necessary over the behaviour of the national ministers at the Council sessions.

More information on the software patents directive and related issues can be found on the FFII’s website at

The full video footage of the Council meeting summarised here can be downloaded from, but note that it’s 1371MB (i.e., almost 1.4GB)