Paris, 27 March 2014 — Next week, on 3 April, Members of the European Parliament will vote on the future of Net Neutrality and the open Internet in Europe1The “Industry” Committee’s repport is here.. After years of struggle across the European Union, either solid legal protections for the freedom of expression and innovation online will be introduced or telecom operators will be given free reign to discriminate between online communications and use this to force out competition. In light of approaching European elections, citizens must call on their representatives to vote in favour of the protection of fundamental rights and the internet as we know it.
This vote comes after five years of struggle for Net Neutrality. In the coming days, telecom lobbies and the European Commission will attempt to lean on the European Parliament as much as possible to get their version of the text passed. To counter this, and, considering the current political balance in the Parliament and the nature of preceding votes in committees, only a strong and sustained citizen mobilisation will be able to convince a majority of MEPs to prevent the death of the open Internet and to break party lines if need be. The adoption of “Marco Civil da Internet” this week by the Brazilian Congress reaffirms the importance of Net Neutrality for the rights of citizens and sends a strong signal to the European Parliament to defend the same values.
The right time to act is now. Citizens across the European Union must contact their representatives and call on them to vote for the positive amendments tabled by the Social-Democrats (S&D), the Greens (Greens/EFA), the United Left (GUE/NGL) and by the Liberals2The amendments tabled by ALDE are identical on the key points to the amendments tabled by other groups. (ALDE). With these amendments adopted, the text would enshrine the principle of Net Neutrality effectively and prohibit all forms of discrimination. Moreover, two important loopholes would be closed: neither the notion of “specialised services” nor contractual exemptions accorded to deal with network congestion, could be exploited to circumvent the principle of Net Neutrality.
There are 0 hours left to act! Every vote is essential. Every call to a MEP is therefore crucial! Call now!
“All citizens concerned by threats to the open Internet, freedom of expression and innovation online must contact their MEPs and call on them to vote in favour of Net Neutrality. The battle on the 3 April will either mark an unprecedented advance towards the protection of our fundamental rights, or mark the final days of the open Internet as we know it. We defeated ACTA, now we mobilise to safe our Internet! Particularly considering the approaching European elections, every call, email and fax can make the difference and help MEPs resist the telecom lobbying at this sensitive phase of the legislative process” concluded Félix Tréguer, co-founder of the association La Quadrature du Net.