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Ask what the next European Commission will do for our Freedoms!

Paris, November 26th 2009 - La Quadrature is calling on European citizens to submit questions aimed at finding out where the next European Commission (2010-2014) stands on EU citizens' fundamental freedoms on the Internet.

The Council of the European Union and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, just agreed1 on a college of Commissioners designate. The Parliament will now conduct hearings2 before appointing the full college.

These hearings, which were introduced in 2001 (article 214 of the Nice Treaty), are an important feature of the emerging European democracy. They help the legislative branch evaluate the executive branch's competence and commitment to serve human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights3. It is also an opportunity for the Members of the European Parliament – who directly represent European citizens – to ask the Commissioners designate to take position on issues that are relevant to their occupation.

Internet regulation is high on the next Commission's legislative agenda. This is why it is so important for citizens and civil society groups to step in the debate and question the next Commissioners about their vision for the future of the Internet. Do they want to protect the democratic nature of this new essential mean of communications, or are they going be oblivious to its progressive potentialities and give in to special-interests asking for more control?

La Quadrature calls on citizens to help drafting a list of questions to be asked to Commissioners designate. Submitted questions should address various topics related to citizens rights and freedoms on the Internet, such as:

  • The fight against filesharing;
  • Net neutrality;
  • Filtering of Internet content;
  • Copyright law;
  • Privacy;
  • Other issues that you might find relevant.

Questions should be addressed to the Commissioners for: Information Society and Media, Justice and Home Affairs, Competition, Internal Market or Trade.

The complete questionnaire will be transmitted to the Members of the European Parliament before the auditions.

  • 1. http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/522&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=fr
  • 2. More infos about the Commissionners hearings: http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Hearings_Commissioners
  • 3. As underlined by Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union: "The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail. "
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