Victory for EU Citizens! Amendment 138 was voted again.

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Strasbourg, April 21 2009 – Once again, the European Parliament has demonstrated it can resist pressure and stand for the rights and freedoms of citizens. Amendment 138 (now renumbered amendment 46) was adopted today in ITRE committe, in Strasbourg.

MEP C. Trautmann
courageously stood
for our freedoms.

Amendement 138/46-135 states that restrictions to the fundamental rights and freedoms of Internet users can only be put in place after a decision by judicial authorities (save when public security is threatened in which case the ruling may be subsequent). It was adopted last September by an overwhelming majority of the European Parliament, and approved by the European Commission despite explicit requests from the French Presidency to reject it. The European Council has rejected it further to pressure of the French government and some disinformation by in-house Council lawyers on its claimed contradiction with existing National law.

Despite strong pressure to reach a compromise on the framework directive of the Telecoms Package, the ITRE committee of the European Parliament has today adopted again amendment 138/46, by a strong majority of 40 against 4. One will have to monitor closely further proceedings to be sure that this vote is confirmed in plenary, but it is a strong and clear signal.

According to Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net: “The European citizens will remember this courageous stand. Members of the European parliament honoured their mandates by standing courageously for citizens’ rights and freedoms. This is one more blow to Nicolas Sarkozy’s ‘three strikes’ or ‘HADOPI’ law in France, and a strong sign that nobody in Europe will want to pass such a stupid legislation going against progress, citizens’ rights and common sense.”.

Philippe Aigrain, also co-founder of La Quadrature du Net concludes: “We will also follow with great attention the negociations in a future conciliation committee to make impossible for the Council to endanger other aspects of the telecom packet such as equitable networking. It is time for Member States to realize that the economy and society can benefit together from an open infrastructure and a strong affirmation of rights.”.

Many thanks to all European citizens who have rallied to have their rights and freedoms protected by the European representative democracy by confirming the following text:“applying the principle that no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end-users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, notably in accordance
with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, save when public security is threatened in which case the ruling may be subsequent.”