Stakeholders’ Dialogues are a working method to bring together a representative group of stakeholders to discuss concrete problems in the field of IPR enforcement and explore possible ways of voluntary cooperation in compliance with the existing legal framework.
Such Dialogues between stakeholders seek to exploit the common interest of the participants by promoting collaborative approaches and by emphasizing joint, practical and workable solutions that focus on concrete problems in a quickly evolving technological and commercial environment, for example in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The European Commission acts as a facilitator of these Dialogues by providing administrative and logistic support and by safeguarding, where necessary, a fair balance between the different interests at stake, including the legitimate rights and expectations of EU citizens.
The foundations for the Memoranda of Understanding were laid in the 2009 Commission Communication on enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market which recognised that the fight against counterfeiting and piracy is not only of benefit to rights owners but also in the interest of other stakeholders, such as internet platforms, wholesalers, retailers and consumers. Likewise, the Council Resolution on a comprehensive European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan and the Council Resolution on the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market recognised the seriousness of counterfeiting and piracy and its implications for the culture and creativity as well as competitiveness of the European Union, for its businesses, creative forces and consumers. Also the European Parliament, in its response to the Commission Communication, broadly endorsed this approach.