EU Commission Tries to Rip Citizens Off Net Neutrality

Paris, 8 June 2015 — The European Commission attacks Net Neutrality again, by introducing a “compromise document” that refuses to enshrine a definition of this crucial principle into the law. A strong coalition including the EU Council, the European Commission and a handful of MEPs is working against the general interest by including loopholes that will be used by the telecom lobby to circumvent the proposed protections against discrimination, thereby undermining fundamental rights and innovation.

The European Commission had promised on June 2 to propose a compromise document as negotiations are deadlocked between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The very few improvements in the text, which gives up on any explicit reference to Net Neutrality, leaves important loopholes that must be fixed.

The EU Parliament negotiators1 have duty to resist the technocratic pressure to come to a deal and instead stick to the general interest. However, the EU Parliament must fight hard against some of its own members. The rapporteur of the text Pilar del Castillo (EPP – ES) and Vicky Ford (ECR – UK) did not hesitate to betray the vote in April 2014 of their own institution in order to please big telecom operators.

“European institutions and Member States are willingly leaving huge loopholes in the text, while deleting all the explicit references to Net Neutrality. It shows that they would rather allow big telecom operators to make “fast lane” deals with the dominant players instead of guaranteeing non-discrimination on the Internet. Citizens must ensure that the EU Parliament opposes this carte blanche to the oligopolisation of the Internet and instead ensures that it remains an open platform preserving fundamental rights and freedom of choice” declares Agnes de Cornulier, legal and policy analyst coordinator for La Quadrature du Net.

Read the analysis of the texts by La Quadrature du Net:
  • 1.
    trialogue MEP
    Negotiating MEPs for the Net Neutrality Trialogue: Pilar del Castillo (EPP - ES), Vicky Ford (ECR - UK), Petra Kammerevert (S&D - DE), Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL - PT), Michel Reimon (Greens/EFA - AU), Jens Rohde (ALDE - DK), Dario Tamburrano (EFDD - IT), Patrizjia Toia (S&D - IT)