Chapter 23: FROM A 'DIGITAL AGENDA FOR EUROPE', TO A 'DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET', TO A 'EUROPE FIT FOR THE DIGITAL AGE', A DECADE OF EUROPEAN UNION COPYRIGHT POLICY IN THE SHADOW OF CRISES
In the six years since the original publication of this Commentary on copyright, the EU has been subject to a large number of shifts and shocks that have dented its confidence and forced it to reassess its priorities, both in terms of market integration and in terms of its external actions and policies. From dramatic changes in the bloc’s composition, middling recovery from the Global Financial Crisis, large numbers of refugees arriving from war-torn states producing a sense of immigration panic, and a rise of anti-system, anti-EU and radical parties steeped in ‘populist’ messaging, the EU finds itself gripped by multiple crises and experiencing questions regarding the legitimacy of its policies and actions. While this may appear to be a somewhat unusual way to begin a discussion of the EU’s copyright policies over the past decade, these crises nevertheless have direct relevance to the approach to copyright law and policy that the Commission in particular has taken in the ten years since the official recognition at the EU level of the impact that the Eurozone crisis was having on the fabric of the Union. Copyright has not been a cause of these problems, but its further reform has been perceived as a potential solution for the economic problems facing the EU during a period of stagnation, lowering prospects and increased unemployment. However, in light of a growing and broadening crisis in the fundamentals of the European project.
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