How did EU MEPs vote on the controversial copyright directive?

6 Jul 2018

EU flags at Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament. Image: Genovaite Kazieliene/Shutterstock

MEPs in Europe voted to reopen a debate around digital copyright reform following significant public protest, but how did each country vote?

A 318 to 278 majority of MEPs yesterday (5 July) voted to take another look at the controversial EU digital copyright proposal. This means they now have the chance to scrutinise and debate the changes, and make amendments if needed, to EU copyright law.

Last month, the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee gave the final text of the proposal its seal of approval, including Article 11 and Article 13, the two most contested elements of the changes. These will now be reassessed following yesterday’s parliamentary decision.

Debate needs to be redirected

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) welcomed the vote, with director general Monique Goyens saying: “This is a big decision in the fight to prevent large-scale and systematic filtering of online content from becoming the norm. The legislative debate urgently needs redirection.

“The internet must remain a place where consumers can freely share own creations, opinions and ideas. MEPs have a chance to correct a heavily unbalanced report and make copyright work for both consumer and creators.”

Some MEPs who campaigned against the proposal deemed the vote a success, while others felt it was setback for the music and film industry. Many others noted that the extra time afforded to discuss the proposal could allow for a more balanced outcome, which would be fair for creators, artists and internet users alike.

How did member states vote on EU copyright?

The breakdown from

Austria: 5 in favour, 8 against, 4 abstentions, 1 non-voter (Total MEPs present: 17/18)

Belgium: 10 in favour, 10 against, 1 non-voter (Total MEPs present: 20/21)

Bulgaria: 8 in favour, 3 against, 1 abstention, 5 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 12/17)

Croatia: 5 in favour, 6 against (Total MEPs present: 11/11)

Cyprus: 2 in favour, 2 against, 1 abstention, 1 non-voter (Total MEPs present: 5/6)

Czech Republic: 2 in favour, 6 against, 8 abstentions, 5 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 16/21)

Denmark: 4 in favour, 8 against, 1 non-voter (Total MEPs present: 12/13)

Estonia: 1 in favour, 5 against (Total MEPs present: 6/6)

Finland: 3 in favour, 9 against, 1 non-voter (Total MEPs present: 12/13) 

France: 61 in favour, 8 against, 5 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 69/74)

Germany: 36 in favour, 49 against, 1 abstention, 10 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 86/96)

Greece: 8 in favour, 9 against, 4 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 17/21)

Hungary: 10 in favour, 8 against, 3 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 18/21)

Ireland: 3 in favour (Brian Hayes, Deirdre Clune, Séan Kelly), 6 against (Liadh Ní Riada, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Lynn Boylan, Nessa Childers, Marian Harkin, Matt Carthy), 2 non-voters (Brian Crowley, Mairead McGuinness). (Total MEPs present: 9/11)

Italy: 23 in favour, 32 against, 1 abstention, 17 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 56/73)

Latvia: 5 in favour, 2 against, 1 non-voter (Total MEPs present: 7/8)

Lithuania: 1 in favour, 6 against, 4 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 7/11)

Luxembourg: 4 in favour, 1 against, 1 non-voter (Total MEPs present: 5/6)

Malta: 4 in favour, 2 against (Total MEPs present: 6/6)

Netherlands: 3 in favour, 17 against, 6 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 20/26)

Poland: 0 in favour, 38 against, 3 abstentions, 10 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 41/51)

Portugal: 12 in favour, 6 against, 1 abstention, 2 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 19/21)

Romania: 20 in favour, 4 against, 2 abstentions, 6 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 26/32) 

Slovakia: 3 in favour, 5 against, 5 abstentions (Total MEPs present: 13/13)

Slovenia: 1 in favour, 4 against, 2 abstentions, 1 non-voter (Total MEPs present: 7/8)

Spain: 17 in favour, 17 against, 1 abstention, 19 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 35/54)

Sweden: 0 in favour, 16 against, 4 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 16/20)

UK: 27 in favour, 29 against, 1 abstention, 16 non-voters (Total MEPs present: 57/73)

Updated, 11.44am, 6 July 2018: This article was updated to clarify that Slovakia had zero non-voters (not 5) and that the total number of MEPs present for Sweden was 16 (not 20). 

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects