The European Parliament supports net neutrality

By EDRi · December 19, 2012

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Deutsch: [Europäisches Parlament setzt sich Netzneutralität ein |]

On 11 December 2012, The European Parliament (EP) issued, in a large
majority, two non-legislative resolutions asking that net neutrality
should be enshrined in the European Union law.

In one of the resolutions, “Completing the Digital Single Market”, the
EP “calls on the Commission to propose legislation to ensure net
neutrality” and urges Commissioner Kroes to end her ill-fated “wait and
see” approach.

The second resolution, “Digital Freedom Strategy in EU Foreign Policy”,
stresses that the EP “strongly supports the principle of net neutrality,
namely that Internet Service Providers do not block, discriminate
against, impair or degrade, including through price, the ability of any
person to use a service to access, use, send, post, receive or offer any
content, application or service of their choice, irrespective of source
or target” and “calls on the Commission and Council to promote and
preserve high standards of digital freedom in the EU, in particular by
codifying the principle of net neutrality”.

“After a constructive dialogue with civil society, in particular in the
course of the ACTA debate, the EU Parliament is adopting a more
proactive approach to Internet freedoms, especially on the issue of Net
neutrality. Today’s vote is a blow to Commissioner Kroes, who has been
playing into the hands of dominant telecom operators by refusing to
enforce this fundamental principle. A EU-wide law on the matter is
indeed urgent, as evidence is now clear that telecom operators across
the EU apply widespread restrictions to users’ Internet access. We must
keep putting pressure on the Commission and Member States so that they
finally take action to protect Net neutrality, and ensure that the
Internet remains a platform for freedom, democracy and innovation”, said
Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net.

The Parliament urges for a stricter regime to control the export of
censorship and surveillance technologies to oppressive regimes and
criticises the increasing capture of global Internet governance by

After its resolution on net neutrality from November 2011, this is the
second time that the European Parliament has asked the Commission
to abandon its laissez-faire approach on this crucial policy area.

Research from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic
Communications (BEREC) proves that operators interfere with traffic on
their networks in socially harmful ways. They block, throttle and
discriminate against applications, content and services that are
competing with their own. The existing laws in many European Member
States are inadequate to prevent such abuses of the open Internet.

“Users and innovators, not access providers, should continue to decide
how they want to use the Internet if it is to continue to realise its
potential as a barrier-free single market and as a unique platform for
social and cultural activity and democratic discourse,” said Joe
McNamee, Executive Director of EDRi.

The European Parliament demands a net neutrality law (11.12.2012)

EU Parliament Calls For Action Against Net Access Restrictions (11.12.2012)

Motion for an EP Resolution on a Digital Freedom Strategy in EU Foreign
Policy (15.12.2012)

Motion for an EP Resolution on completing the Digital Single Market (26.10.2012)