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Commissioner Kroes commits herself to Net neutrality

Paris, January 15th, 2010 - Yesterday, the ITRE committee of the European Parliament led the hearing of Commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda, Mrs. Neelie Kroes.

Commissioner Kroes addressed a number of issues regarding freedoms in the networked society, expressing a positive opinion regarding amendment 1381 and praising interoperability standards. She also indicated her strong support in favor of Net neutrality.

"It is very encouraging to see that so many Members of the European Parliament questioned Mrs. Kroes on the issue of Net neutrality. Commissioner Kroes' unequivocal statement against commercially motivated anti-Net neutrality practices is an extremely reassuring step. The outcoming Competition Commissioner knows that this funding principle of the Internet is essential to both innovation and free speech in the knowledge society. We will now remain watchful that these declarations translate into action.", says Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net.

"The bottom-line is whether the Commission will push for legislation mandating this fundamental principle to both fixed and mobile Internet access providers across Europe. Also, in order to avoid creating loopholes in Net neutrality regulation, acceptable network management practices aimed at addressing security threats will have to be carefully defined. In the coming months, citizens and civil society organizations will have to engage with the Commission on this important issue to ensure that the public interest remains the priority. Good luck to Mrs Kroes with her very important mission!", concludes Zimmermann 2.

  • 1. Amendment 138 of the Telecoms Package, voted twice by an 88% majority of the European Parliament, provided that" no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end-users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities". After strong opposition from the Member States, it was eventually replaced by a weaker provision in November 2009.
  • 2. For more information on Net neutrality, see La Quadrature's report: Protecting Net Neutrality in Europe.