EP Culture Committee – Draft Internet Governance Opinion published

By EDRi · January 27, 2010

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Deutsch: [Kulturausschuss des Europäischen Parlaments – Gutachtenentwurf zu Internet Governance veröffentlicht | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1681]

The European Parliament (EP) has started its deliberations on a non-binding
report on “Internet governance, the next steps”, following the Commission’s
Communication on this topic in 2009.

The draft Opinion of the European Parliament’s Culture Committee has been
published. The MEP in charge in that committee is Ivo Belet (EPP, Belgium)
who has been trying to sell the idea of an Internet levy to pay for illegal
downloads recently.

Oddly, the initial draft report contains nothing particularly negative and
even chooses to focus on positive international cooperation, rather than
more restrictive measures, like blocking, when referring to “harmful” and
illegal content. The next steps for the dossier are for other MEPs to table
amendments/additions to the text, adopt a final report and then give this to
the Committee in charge (the Industry Committee) to take it into account.

During the Committee discussions, Mr Belet made it clear that he wanted more
accountability of ICANN towards governments. However, when the issue of
China being involved in global Internet governance was raised, he explained
that the issue was “risky” and, without wanting to be selfish, the issue was
how to give the EU more influence. While opposing the introduction of issues
like copyright and net neutrality into his report (because this had been
dealt with in the telecoms package), he was nonetheless open to discussion
as to whether copyright could nonetheless be included.

The MEP in charge in the lead Committee is Francisco Sosa Wagner of the
Unión, Progreso y Democracia party. According to Wikipedia, that party
argued, in its initial manifesto, the radical notion that “citizens (are)
able to think for themselves”. It remains to be seen if he wishes to, and is
able to, get such a concept into his report.

Commission Communication (18.06.2009)

Draft Culture Committee Opinion (17.12.2009)

Draft Industry Committee Report – Not yet available

(Contribution by Joe McNamee – EDRi)