Questions for the 2014-2019 European Commissioners

Paris, 26 September 2014 — Starting from Monday, September 29th, the nominees intended to constitute the future College of Claude Junker's Commission, will face a full parliamentary hearing, in view of the definitive confirmation of their appointment. La Quadrature du Net invites any Members of the European Parliament to question the candidates on their views and positions on the protection of European citizens' digital rights. In particular, the set of questions, that La Quadrature du Net provides, covers a broad range of issues that are essential to guarantee people's rights to access a free and open Internet, as well as to protect their personal data. Most of the questions directly relate to the portfolio of Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for Digital Single Market. Other Commissioners designate, whose Directorate-General is competent for specific issues, are indicated below.

Transparency, data protection and copyright in the framework of international agreements

Cecilia Malmström — Commissioner for Trade

Malmström, Commissioner for Trade
Malmström — Commissioner for Trade
  • As the commissioner responsible for the DG Trade, you will lead negotiations with the United States of America on the framework for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. On July 3 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union assessed that documents concerning international agreements shall not systematically be exempted from respecting the transparency principle. How do you think this ruling will be practically implemented in your modus operandi throughout the negotiation period?
  • In November 2013, the European Commission took the decision to cut data protection issues out of the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Do you think you will maintain this commitment?
  • The existence of private arbitration provisions in bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements is widely resented as giving power to private parties to challenge democratically adopted laws for their own interest. Will you commit to avoiding such provisions in TTIP and other to-be-negotiated/future agreements?
  • In 2012, citizen mobilization followed by the MEP's vote against ACTA gave the proof of broad opposition to all sort of repressive measures in the name of copyright protection. Are you going to take this fact into account and prevent reintroducing the same kind of provisions in the TTIP?

Net Neutrality, Freedom of Expression, Radio Spectrum and Copyright

Günther Oettinger — Digital Economy and Society

Öettinger  — Digital Economy and Society
Oettinger — Digital Economy and Society
  • In the framework of the so-called Connected Continent Regulation, the European Parliament recently issued a very strong position in favour of Net neutrality. What importance do you ascribe to that principle? What measures to guarantee Net Neutrality do you intend to introduce to the corpus of the European Telecom rules that you have been called to reform?
  • The text voted by the European Parliament before May’s elections clearly establishes that providers of Internet access shall not discriminate services, applications or content available on the Internet. As a Commissioner, do you intend to defend this position, which is at the core of the debate regarding Net neutrality?
  • What is your position on the definition of specialized services as well as on how to frame the limits to the exceptions to network neutrality in a way that ensures the open Internet remains an open and efficient option for all citizens, applications and innovative service providers?
  • What kind of concrete actions will you take in order to support freedom of expression and information, as well as freedom and pluralism of media on the open Internet?
  • What is your plan in implementing the Radio Spectrum Policy Program? In particular, do you intend to boost the unlicensed use of spectrum and finally honour the 2008 European Parliament’s resolution on a “common approach to the use of the spectrum released by the digital switch-over”, which underlines the importance of unlicensed use of spectrum especially for SMEs?
  • Will the Commission commit to a real revision of the 2001/29/EC directive as was massively requested by the citizens and the organizations from civil society in the responses to the public consultation launched at the end of 2013?
  • Does the Commission intend to engage in extra-judiciary measures to combat counterfeiting on a “commercial scale”, as it announced in its roadmap on the respect of IP rights published last July?

Data Protection and Freedom of Expression

Vĕra Jourová — Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality

Jourová — Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality
Jourová — Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality
  • In a judgement issued on April 8 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled invalid the 2006 European Data Retention directive as it is considered to interfere "in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data”. How will the European Commission act to make Member States comply with the letter and spirit of the decision of the Court?
  • What it is your opinion about the May 13 2014 judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union, dealing with the so-called right to be forgotten? Do you agree with the principle whereby private stakeholders shall apply the balance between the right to private life and freedom of expression and information? How do you plan to better ensure this balance?
  • What your position about the Safe Harbour? Don't you think that this mechanism should be reformed and replaced by a much more egalitarian and balanced agreement, based on a principle of reciprocity, in order to guarantee the protection of European citizens’ data?
  • In the framework of Data Protection Regulation, what is your position about the transfer of data to third countries?