ICE: EC harmonisation proposal would be ‘suicide’ - Temmink

ICE: EC harmonisation proposal would be ‘suicide’ - Temmink

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 Totally Gaming
Harrie Temmink ruled out a single gambling policy

The European Commission (EC) has no interest in trying to introduce harmonisation in the gambling sector, according to Harrie Temmink, the organisation’s deputy head of unit.

Speaking at ICE Totally Gaming at the ExCel in London, Temmink said that such a proposal from the EC would be doomed to fail.

“The implementation of our action plan in October 2012 does not contain harmonisation,” he said.

“The EC is not working on harmonisation on sector-specific legislation in gambling. The Commission is not proposing and will not propose it – not in my lifetime and not in the next one either.

“The reason we will not propose it is that it would need to be adopted by the European Council and Parliament.

“I can assure you that if we proposed legislation on gambling, in the first meeting with the Council, we would have 26 out of 28 member states that would be fiercely opposed to the proposal. It would be suicide.

“So it is a no-go, and I want to underline that.”

Despite insisting that harmonisation is not on the agenda, Temmink said that the EC still has a key role to play in ensuring fair gambling regulations are implemented by Member States.

“It’s up to Member States whether they have a monopoly system or a licensing system, but the correct procedures should apply,” he said. “We are interested in the overall coherence of each gambling policy.”

Temmink added that the EC issued 46 notifications, 24 responses, 16 comments and eight detailed opinions in 2015.
Formal infringement procedures are pending against seven Member States and the EC currently still has cases open against 15 member states.

“In 2016 we will definitely go the next stage with infringement procedures,” he said.

“We always try to have dialogue with Member States to find a compromise, but sometimes we need to go to the next step.”

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