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Wednesday 26 November 2014

MEPs urges the Council to uphold net neutrality and roaming provisions

Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake, supported by 130 MEPs, wants the EU member states to enshrine clear net neutrality definitions in EU law. They also reject any delays in the elimination of roaming charges. Last week it was revealed that the Council of Ministers seeks to water down net neutrality and delay roaming eliminations in the Telecoms Package. The letter, which is signed by 131 Members of the European Parliament, calls for leadership by the Italian presidency to adopt the Parliament’s ambitions and definitions for the Telecoms Package.

Net neutrality
In April, the European Parliament adopted Schaake’s proposal to enshrine net neutrality in European law. Roaming charges should end by December 15th 2015. Net neutrality is essential for competitiveness, innovation and the open internet in Europe. “Net neutrality is needed for a level playing field, but also the public value of the open internet cannot be underestimated”, says Schaake. “The single European telecoms market that is so much needed for Europe is in real danger of becoming a reality.”

New telecoms legislation
On Thursday, the Council of Ministers will discuss the proposal for European telecoms legislation. Besides net neutrality the European Parliament also included stricter measures to abolish the high costs for mobile roaming in Europe. But it now seems that the Council not only postpones but also dilutes these guarantees. Schaake says: “The next days will be crucial to show Member States that net neutrality and the elimination of roaming charges must be included into legislation. As our letter shows, the European Parliament will not accept a weaker outcome in the final vote.”

Photo: CreativeCommons, photosteve101