Only a Few Hours Left to Save the Internet!
Brussels, 2 April 2014 — In a few hours the European Parliament will vote on the regulation concerning the European single market for electronic communications. This vote in plenary will be the most important vote on the rights and freedoms of citizens since the rejection of ACTA in July 2012. With the right amendments adopted, this text will put in place solid measures that protect Net Neutrality throughout the European Union. These have been tabled1 but their adoption depends on a small number of votes, especially of those in the liberal group (ALDE). The outcome of the vote will either be the protection of competiton, innovation, users freedom of choice, and the freedom of expression and information or signal the end of the Internet as we know it.
The number of parliamentarians in the groups that tabled the amendments adds to 3722 votes which almost represents an absolute majority in the 766-seat Parliament. With the support of independents3 and some representatives from the centre-right EPP group, these amendments can therefore pass. Unfortunately, although ALDE tabled positive amendments, it is not certain that the whole group will vote in favour. Despite recommendations by civil society organisations, for instance those of La Quadrature du Net, parliamentarians, faced with important efforts by the lobby of big telecom and even by the European Commission, might be swayed to vote against the interest of the wider citizenry and small and medium entreprises.
In other words: Every single vote is important tomorrow! And this close to the European elections, parliamentarians are particularly receptive to citizens' messages – especially so as the vote tomorrow is recorded - and very call, email, fax could make the difference and lead to the real protection of the Internet and network neutrality. To your pi-phones therefore to profit from the last remaining hours!
- 1. The amendments tabled by the Social-Democrats (S&D), the Greens (Greens/EFA), the United Left (GUE/NGL) and by the Liberals (ALDE) are very similar on the important points.
- 2. 195 Social-Democrats (S&D), 84 Liberals (ALDE), 58 Greens (Greens/EFA), and 35 from the United Left (GUE/NGL).
- 3. 32 parliamentarians are Non-Attached Members (NA)