Looking at the positions that the European Court of Justice, the Council, the Commission and the Parliament have taken so far on gambling and betting, I would draw the following conclusions:
Practically all Member States and the Parliament reject the application of the country of origin and mutual recognition principles in this particular and sensitive area. The Court accepts that, as it explicitly expressed once again in its judgment last September.
For the Commission, this judgment means that it loses one of its key arguments that it has used in all the infringement cases.
Member States are free to set their own policy objectives on betting and gambling and define in detail the level of protection they deem appropriate for their citizens.
Council and Parliament have been working hand in hand for years. In 2006 and 2007 they both agreed on the exclusion of gambling and betting from the Services Directive and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The Schaldemose report last year built on the work the Council had done under the French Presidency, and the same line has continued also under the Swedish and the Spanish presidency. I was responsible for the EPP line in Schaldemose report.
I would like to ask you, whether you share the view that the Commission should finally start helping the Member States in their fight against all illegal, in other words unauthorised, gambling offers, rather than consume time on questions that have been answered already? If so, how will it be tackled?