Klaus-Heiner Lehne

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Klaus-Heiner Lehne, MEP

Klaus-Heiner Lehne (born 28 October 1957, Düsseldorf) is a German lawyer, an MEP from Christian Democratic Union of Germany since 1994, and a member of the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee.[1]


Background

He studied law, physics and philosophy, and was a member of the Bundestag (1992-1994). Since 1994, he is a member of the European Parliament as EPP Group coordinator on the Legal Affairs Committee. He's a member of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats - Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (CDU)) and European Democrats.[2]

Affiliations

Parliamentary Affiliations

Chair:
16.07.2009 / ... : Committee on Legal Affairs
08.09.2009 / ... : Conference of Committee Chairs
Vice-Chair:
17.11.1994 / 11.07.1995 : Delegation for relations with Russia
12.07.1995 / 15.01.1997 : Delegation for relations with Russia
30.01.1997 / 13.10.1997 : Delegation for relations with Russia
14.10.1997 / 30.11.1997 : Delegation for relations with Russia
01.12.1997 / 23.02.1999 : Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee
24.02.1999 / 19.07.1999 : Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee
22.07.1999 / 14.01.2002 : Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee
Member:
19.07.1994 / 19.07.1999 : Group of the European People's Party (Christian-Democratic Group)
21.07.1994 / 15.01.1997 : Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs
16.01.1997 / 29.01.1997 : Delegation for relations with Russia
16.01.1997 / 19.07.1999 : Committee on the Rules of Procedure, the Verification of Credentials and Immunities
23.10.1997 / 19.07.1999 : Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights
20.07.1999 / 19.07.2004 : Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats
21.07.1999 / 14.01.2002 : Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market
17.01.2002 / 19.07.2004 : Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market
07.02.2002 / 19.07.2004 : Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union
20.07.2004 / 30.08.2004 : Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats
21.07.2004 / 14.01.2007 : Committee on Legal Affairs
31.08.2004 / 13.07.2009 : Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats
15.09.2004 / 13.07.2009 : Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee
15.01.2007 / 30.01.2007 : Committee on Legal Affairs
31.01.2007 / 13.07.2009 : Committee on Legal Affairs
14.07.2009 / 20.07.2009 : Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)
16.07.2009 / 07.09.2009 : Conference of Committee Chairs
21.07.2009 / ... : Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)
16.09.2009 / ... : Delegation for relations with Japan
Substitute:
21.07.1994 / 15.01.1997 : Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights
12.10.1995 / 15.01.1997 : Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection
16.01.1997 / 19.07.1999 : Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection
16.01.1997 / 17.10.1997 : Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights
16.01.1997 / 19.07.1999 : Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs
24.04.1997 / 19.11.1997 : Temporary committee instructed to monitor the action taken on the recommendations made concerning BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy)
21.07.1999 / 14.01.2002 : Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs
17.01.2002 / 19.07.2004 : Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs
22.07.2004 / 26.10.2005 : Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
15.09.2004 / 13.03.2007 : Delegation for relations with Japan
27.10.2005 / 14.01.2007 : Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
19.01.2006 / 19.06.2007 : Committee of Inquiry into the crisis of the Equitable Life Assurance Society
15.01.2007 / 30.01.2007 : Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
31.01.2007 / 13.07.2009 : Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
14.03.2007 / 13.07.2009 : Delegation for relations with Japan
06.01.2009 / 13.07.2009 : Committee on Constitutional Affairs
16.07.2009 / ... : Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
16.09.2009 / ... : Delegation for relations with Iraq[3]

Record and Controversies

Declaration of Financial Interest

Professional Activities:

  • Lawyer at the Taylor Wessing Firm of Solicitors, Düsseldorf

Further Information:

  • Counsellor, Private Limited "Das Aktienforum GmbH", Kronberg/Taunus
  • Counsellor, Private Limited "EuroCon Gmbh", Düsseldorf
  • Commissioner, Federal Association of German Tourist Industry (Dehoga, DRV, RDA among others), Berlin
  • Lecturer, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf
  • Lecturer, University of Köln, Köln
  • Chairman, Association of Supporting Parliamentary Works of the Members of CDU/CSU Group in the European Parlaiment, Berlin
  • Counsellor, Federal Association of Liberal Professions, Berlin
  • Counsellor, ARAG, Düsseldorf
  • Member of executive board, ERA, Trier
  • Member of the supervisory board, Multifunktionsarena Immobiliengesellschaft GmbH & Co KG, Düsseldorf
  • Member of advisory committee, The Centre of European Law and Politics, University of Bremen, Bremen
  • Member of supervisory board, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, Düsseldorf[4]

Former Declaration of Financial Interest

Professional Activities:

  • Lawyer at the Taylor Wessing Firm of Solicitors, Düsseldorf

Further Information:

  • Counsellor, Private Limited "Das Aktienforum GmbH", Kronberg/Taunus
  • Counsellor, Private Limited "EuroCon Gmbh", Düsseldorf
  • Commissioner, Federal Association of German Tourist Industry (Dehoga, DRV, RDA among others), Berlin
  • Visiting Lecturer, University of Düsseldorf and Köln
  • Chairman, Association of Supporting Parliamentary Works of the Members of CDU/CSU Group in the European Parlaiment, Berlin
  • Counsellor, Federal Association of Liberal Professions, Berlin
  • Counsellor, ARAG, Düsseldorf
  • Member of executive board, ERA, Trier
  • Member of the supervisory board, Multifunktionsarena Immobiliengesellschaft GmbH & Co KG, Düsseldorf
  • Member of advisory committee, The Centre of European Law and Politics, University of Bremen, Bremen[5]

Background of Conflicts

Over the last few years, he has been one of the most influential MEPs pushing for software patents in the Parliament. At the same time he is a Partner at the law firm Taylor Wessing. It advises clients “on patenting strategy in the software sector.”[6] The world’s largest business software company, SAP, is listed as a client of Taylor Wessing working on patents and intellectual property.[7][8][9]


At the time of Lehne’s appointment to Taylor Wessing in 2003, Legal Week reported how the firm saw “the development of its seven-partner Brussels regulatory and competition practice in Brussels as vital for its key corporate clients.”[10] According to Taylor Wessing’s website in 2006, its “patent group is one of the strongest, largest and best known in Europe. The group comprises around 30 patent law specialists” who advise “clients in a wide variety of industry sectors, including… software”. It goes on to say that Taylor Wessing has successfully represented multinational companies… in patent litigation of great commercial significance.”[11]


David Cronin, in his article once stated that, "Law firms that work for corporate clients, for example, would not have to register their activities. This exemption was proposed by Klaus-Heiner Lehne, who supplements his salary as a German MEP by working as a partner in a law firm."[12]

Register of interests

Potential Conflicts of Interest

It could be construed that Lehne has a potential conflict of interest: as a lawyer whose clients have included the world’s largest software company and as an MEP who has been involved in patent legislation that could help that company. Lehne and Taylor Wessing are keen to stress that he doesn’t work on patents[13] and Lehne sees no such conflict: “All MEPs have a professional background”, he argues. “Being a lawyer and being an MEP in the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliament is normal. Sometimes knowledge and competence helps to make the right political decisions.”[14]


Since the failure of the 2005 software patent directive, the European Commission and patent industry have been pushing the new European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA), which critics say would lead to weaker democratic control over the patent system. One non-profit group on patents, the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) described EPLA as creating “an uncontrollable, excessive situation, for higher costs, without discernable advantage.”[15]


According to FFII, “the spearheads of the patent establishment in the European Parliament, MEPs Klaus-Heiner Lehne and Sharon Bowles, both legal professionals involved in the patent litigation business, have tried hard to push their [political] groups into supporting a motion which gives uncritical backing to the EPLA.”[16]


In September 2006, the Commission’s plans were severely criticised in the European Parliament by the Socialist group of MEPs “for supporting new patent rules that will heap extra costs and risks on small businesses”.[17] Lehne argued the opposite and attacked the “die-hard, anti-innovation MEPs”, so called "no-software-patent" people”.[18]


As claimed on FFII's wiki for Lehne, "the bulk of Taylor Wessing's business appears to be in patent litigation for large companies. Taylor Wessing has special business relations with patent lobby organisations, offering their members reductions in fees. Parts of Lehne's speeches and amendments come directly from Siemens and UNICE. Siemens' lobbyists are well-known guests in Lehne's office while representatives of SME in Lehne's home region have been complaining about inability to receive any appointments. Lehne has for a long time been responsible for transparency rules in the European Parliament."[19]

Record of Parliamentary Votes

  • Voted against the directive on "establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy" (A5-0027/2000). The directive covers all water management aspects in order to achieve a 'good status' of all waters by 2015.[20]
  • Voted against the directive on "national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants" (A5-0063/2000). The amendment allows setting less ambitious national emission ceilings for sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH3) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), which would result in more damage to human health and the environment.[21]
  • Voted in favour of the Commission White Paper on "Strategy for a future Chemicals Policy" (A5-0356/2001). The amendment helps avoid the necessary precautionary approach towards some chemical substances that are not proven to be completely safe.[22]
  • Voted against the directive on "waste electrical and electronic equipment" (A5-0100/2002). The amendment sets higher reuse and recycling rates for IT and telecommunication equipment.[23] Rejected due to lack of absolute majority.
  • Voted in favour of the report on "Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network" (A5-0135/2002). The Trans-European Network of Transport (TEN-T) is a network of so-called 'transport corridors' through Europe. This amendment calls for a full Strategic Environmental Assessment of these transport corridors and calls on the Commission to improve methods for analysing the environmental and economic impact of the TEN-T.[24]
  • Voted against the regulation concerning "traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms" (A5-0229/2002). The amendment allows customers the right to choose GM free food.[25]
  • Voted against the report towards a "thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides" (A5-0061/2003). The amendment proposes to ban or severely restrict use of pesticides in areas around sources of drinking water and nature protected zones.[26]
  • Voted against the directive on "environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage" (A5-0145/2003). According to the amendment, polluters have to pay for environmental clean-up, and it supports an EU-wide regime which makes polluters liable for the damage they cause to wildlife, water and land.[27]
  • Voted against the directive on restructuring the "Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity" (A5-0302/2003). The amendment aims at giving tax benefits to environmentally friendly sources of energy, which would make them cheaper and more competitive to conventional (more polluting) sources of energy. It also gives tax benefits to environmentally friendly uses of energy for transport, for instance trains.[28] Rejected due to lack of absolute majority.
Election Campaign.jpg

Election Campaign 2009

Klaus-Heiner Lehne has not yet pledged to any of the four issues presented by the Election Campaign:

  • to provide leadership in lobbying transparency and ethics,
  • to provide leadership in reforming financial architecture,
  • to promote a full-scale rethink of the EU trade policy,
  • to promote corporate accountability.[29]

Ask Klaus-Heiner Lehne to pledge: Pin down your candidate now!


Personal Information

Curriculum Vitae

  • Studied law, physics and philosophy in Düsseldorf, Freiburg, Cologne and Bonn.
  • 1984-1992 Member, Düsseldorf City Council.
  • 1992-1994 Member of the Bundestag.
  • Since 1994 Member of the European Parliament. EPP Group coordinator on the Legal Affairs Committee.

Contact

Address:
Parlement européen
Bât. Altiero Spinelli
10E205
60, rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60
B-1047 Bruxelles/Brussel
Phone:
+32 (0)2 28 45047
Fax:
+32 (0)2 28 49047
Email:
klaus-heiner.lehne AT europarl.europa.eu
Website:
http://www.kh-lehne.de
EU Revolving Door.jpg This article is part of the EU Revolving Door project of SpinWatch.
EU Insigna.png This article is part of the MEPedia project of Spinwatch.



Resources

Notes

  1. European Parliament, MEP Directory: Klaus-Heiner Lehne, accessed 30 November 2010.
  2. European Parliament, MEP Directory: Klaus-Heiner Lehne, accessed 07 November 2008.
  3. European Parliament, MEP Directory: Klaus-Heiner Lehne, accessed 30 November 2010.
  4. European Parliament, Erklärung der finanziellen Interessen der Mitglieder: Klaus-Heiner Lehne, 24 November 2009, accessed 12 January 2010.
  5. European Parliament, Erklärung der finanziellen Interessen der Mitglieder: Klaus-Heiner Lehne, 16 December 2008, accessed 22 March 2009.
  6. Taylor Wessing, Patents, cited in Rowell, Andy, "Too Close for Comfort?" Spinwatch, July 2008.
  7. Virtual Law, Taylor Wessing, accessed 07 November 2008.
  8. In 2005, a spokesman for SAP denied working with Taylor Wessing (see next note for reference). However information supplied by SAP to the website “Virtual law”, lists SAP as a client of Taylor Wessing.
  9. Corporate Europe, "Politics, business mix freely in Europe Parliament," Wall Street Journal, 05 July 2005, accessed 11 November 2008.
  10. Tromans, Richard, "Simmons & Simmons Has Boosted Its Frankfurt Office With A Key Finance Partner Hire From Ernst & Young's German Law Arm," Legal Week, 2 October 2003, cited in Rowell, Andy, "Too Close for Comfort?" Spinwatch, July 2008.
  11. *Taylor Wessing, Areas of Expertise, accessed 07 November 2008.
  12. Cronin, David, "Europe: Stealth Lobbyists Creep In," TerraViva, 13 May 2008, accessed 12 January 2010.
  13. Jacoby, Mary, and Glenn R. Simpson, "Politics, business mix freely in Europe Parliament," Wall Street Journal, 5 July 2005, cited in Rowell, Andy, "Too Close for Comfort?" Spinwatch, July 2008.
  14. Klaus-Heiner Lehne, E-mail to Andy Rowell, 17 June 2008, cited in Rowell, Andy, "Too Close for Comfort?" Spinwatch, July 2008.
  15. FFII, FFII Analysis of European Patent Litigation Agreement, accessed 07 November 2008.
  16. FFII, EPLA 2006, accessed 07 November 2008.
  17. The Socialist Group in the European Parliament, "Outrage as McCreevy exposes firms to risk of €415,000 legal bills," 20 September 2006, accessed 07 November 2008.
  18. EPP-ED Group, "EPLA new chance for a European patent regime. Klaus-Heiner Lehne MEP," 20 September 2006, cited in Rowell, Andy, "Too Close for Comfort?" Spinwatch, July 2008.
  19. FFII, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, accessed 12 January 2010.
  20. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  21. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  22. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  23. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  24. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  25. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  26. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  27. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  28. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  29. Election Campaign, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, accessed 02 April 2012.