Bonum Certa Men Certa

European Federation of Public Service Unions Pressures Dutch Prime Minister to Take Action Against the EPO's Violations

UPSU/FNV letter



Summary: A joint UPSU/FNV letter, in defence of the rule of law and human rights, calls for immediate action against the EPO with its inexcusable immunity

EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, and FVN, its Dutch affiliate, have just done something very important which can pave the way to serious political actions and interventions, like those that we saw earlier this year.



Shown above is an open letter to Dutch Prime Minister, titled: "Abuse of immunity by the EPO on the territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands"

The source of this letter accompanied it with a press release, titled: "European Patent Office does not live in a Dutch no man’s land" (original at http://www.epsu.org/a/11777)

For readers' information, here is the accompanying press release as well, adding to recent pressure from the I.L.O. (which has had a lot of rulings against/regarding the EPO, including some high-profile examples [PDF]).




(EPSU/FNV Press Release, Brussels 06 November 2015) In a joint letter, EPSU, the European Public Service Union, and its Dutch affiliate, FNV, call upon the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to take action against breaches of fundamental workers’ rights at the European Patent Office based in the Hague, Netherlands.

"The media have reported on EPO’s unacceptable management led by its President, Mr Battistelli."The European Patent Office’s core activity is the examination of patent applications and the grant of European patents.

The media have reported on EPO’s unacceptable management led by its President, Mr Battistelli.

In a ruling of 17 February, the Hague-based appeal Court instructed EPO to uphold the rule-of-law and social dialogue standards in line with the European Convention on Human Rights and ILO Conventions No87, on the right to organise in trade unions, and No 98 on the right to collective bargaining.

“The Dutch government must not tolerate these abusive practices on its own territory that bring back workers to the 19th century.”
      --Marieke Manschot
EPO responded that the court ruling was not executable on the ground that it enjoys immunity. The Dutch government is currently backing the EPO in a case before the Dutch constitutional court aiming at declaring the Dutch judiciary system as incompetent to issue such rulings.

“Refusal to cooperate with labour inspectors, repetitive threats towards union representatives, breaches of data protection rules, these are just examples of EPO’s managerial practices. The Dutch government must not tolerate these abusive practices on its own territory that bring back workers to the 19th century. There must be limits to immunity” says FNV union official Marieke Manschot

“They must accept the fact that they don’t live in a legal no man’s land.”
      --Jan Willem Goudriaan
“It is EPO’s whole governance that is deficient. European and international organisations must respect labour law and trade unions. They must accept the fact that they don’t live in a legal no man’s land. Immunity has been designed to facilitate international cooperation and protect those functions or people who need protection, not to abuse workers” says EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan

EPSU and FNV expect clear answers from Prime Minister Rutte on efficient and fast measures to remedy the situation at EPO.

See EPSU/FNV letter to Prime Minister Rutte sent on 04 November 2015 below.

Contact persons: - Netherlands: FNV Marieke Manschot, mmanschot@abvakabo.nl - Belgium: EPSU Nadja Salson nsalson@epsu.org




The EPO scandals are escalating in terms of severity because the EPO now resorts to militarism [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Tomorrow we will have some articles about the US and the European patent systems. A lot remains to be said.

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