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Pilar del Castillo Vera

European Governments Seek Greater Oligopolization of Telecom Infrastructures

3 October 2017 - In March, more than 31 European Community Networks (CNs) wrote an open letter to EU policy-makers, stressing the need for an adaptation of the European legal framework aimed at helping these citizen-driven initiatives flourish, thus supporting alternative, democratic and sustainable ways to meet the goals of broadband policies. But rather than opening the door to a much-needed diversification of the telecom ecosystem, European governments only seek to reinforce the dominant positions of incumbent players. As the EU gets closer to a deal over the future of European telecom regulation, the EU Parliament must resist the pressure and reaffirm its commitment to the public interest.

EU Telecom Package: courage over details

Paris, 11 July 2017 - The last discussions on the draft on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) before the summer break will take place today and we can only hope for very few changes before the vote on 11 September. The current trend is catastrophic: Pilar del Castillo, the main rapporteur known for her ties with large telcos, is leading to a world of monopolies were very few telcos (3 or 4, she may hope!) would share the whole EU market on optic fiber and radio spectrum. Very few latitude will be allowed to the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) to regulate the market and ensure that the core values also promoted by the European Union will be protected.

Under the hood: Vote for a decentralised telecom infrastructure!

Paris, 7 June 2017 — The future of the decentralised nature of the Internet is at stake with the negotiations on the European Electronic Communications Code. La Quadrature du Net publishes its first voting lists on amendments that have been tabled in committees1 and refers to the factsheets (pdf) drafted by netCommons. As anticipated, the lobbying of the telcos has been very useful with many amendments - especially from the right wing - that aim to protect oligopolistic positions of major telcos, undermining any attempt of openess for new actors and rights of users.

  • 1. ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) is the committee responsible for the text and IMCO (Internal market and consumer protection) is the associated committee. See also the procedure file on the European Parliament's website.

Letter to EU Institutions: WIFI4EU must promote diversity, locality and Human rights

Paris, 22 May 2017 — As the EU Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission enter the dark rooms of trialogues on the WIFI4EU draft regulation, European community networks and the open-wifi community wanted to remind them of the importance of the inclusion of all actors in the development of local connectivity.

From bad to worse: the del Castillo Report on the European Electronic Communication Code

Paris, 22 March 2017 — The rapporteur for the European Parliament on the European Electronic Communication Code intends to make Europe retreat from the way to a free, developed, fair digital society.

Letter to EU Policy-Makers: Making Regulation Work for Community Networks

Paris, 28 February 2017 — In the context of the revision of the European Telecom Package, La Quadrature du Net relays the open letter drafted by the research project netCommons on the importance of community networks for freedoms and fundamental rights. The letter, which will be sent to EU policy-makers, make a number of recommendations for sustaining the growth of community networks.

This letter is open to signatures until March 15th. If your organization wishes to be listed among the signatories, simply send an email to that effect to: advocacy[at]netcommons.eu.

Net Neutrality: A Great Step Forward for the Free Internet!

Brussels, 3 April 2014 — Today the European Parliament adopted in first reading the Regulation on the Single Telecoms Market (see the vote call). By amending the text with the amendment proposals made by the Social-Democrats (S&D), Greens (Greens/EFA), United Left (GUE/NGL) and Liberals (ALDE), the Members of the European Parliament took a historic step for the protection of Net Neutrality and the Internet commons in the European Union. La Quadrature du Net warmly thanks all citizens, organisations and parliamentarians who took part in this campaign, and calls on them to remain mobilised for the rest of the legislative procedure.

Net Neutrality Vote In EU Parliament: MEPs Must Protect the Internet!

Paris, 31 March 2014 — A few days before the vote that will decide the future of Net Neutrality and the Internet commons in Europe, La Quadrature du Net calls on all Members of the European Parliament to support the amendments proposed by the Social-Democrats (S&D), the Greens (Greens/EFA), the United Left (GUE/NGL) and the Liberals1 (ALDE). These amendments contain strong provisions to protect freedom of expression and freedom of information online, reassert the principle of fair competition and guarantee that users may freely choose between services online. From now until 3 April, citizens should urge their representatives to support this cross-party package of amendments in order to preserve the Internet commons.

  • 1. The amendments tabled by ALDE are identical on the key points to the amendments tabled by other groups.

Day Seven Before The Vote to Save Net Neutrality! Parliamentarians Must Protect The Open Internet!

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 Europe1. 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.

  • 1. The “Industry” Committee's repport is here.

Net Neutrality: Dangerous Loopholes Remain After Key Vote by Lead EU Parliament Committee

Brussels, 18 March 2014 — The “Industry” (ITRE) committee has just adopted its report on the Telecom Regulation and Net Neutrality. Despite improvements – especially in comparison with Neelie Kroes' proposal –, the committee and its rapporteur, Pilar del Castillo Vera, bowed to the pressure of the telecom lobby, and major loopholes remain in the text. If the Internet as we know it is to be protected from the rent-seeking behaviour of big corporations who dominate the digital economy, these loopholes must be closed during the European Parliament vote in plenary session on 3 April.

EU Parliament Committee to Cast Crucial Vote on Net Neutrality

Paris, 14 March 2014 — On Tuesday, 18 March at 10 a.m., the “Industry” (ITRE) committee of the European Parliament will take a crucial decision for the future of Net Neutrality in Europe. The adoption of the report could mark a point of no return. Two conflicting visions for the future of the Internet oppose the two largest political groups in the EU Parliament, the social democratic party (S&D) and the conservative party (EPP). The outcome of the vote might be decided by the MEPs of the liberal group (ALDE) who appear not to have chosen which vision they will support, although their rapporteur, Jens Rohde, is pushing for the adoption of anti-Net Neutrality provisions. If adopted, these provisions would end the Internet as we know it, harming the freedom of communication and innovation.

EU Parliament Negotiations on Net Neutrality Taking a Disastrous Turn

Update: The vote scheduled for February 24th was postponed and is now scheduled for March 18th.

Paris, 18 February 2014 — On 24 February, the “Industry” (ITRE) committee of the European Parliament will take a crucial decision for the future of Net Neutrality in Europe, by adopting its report, on the basis of which the whole Parliament will vote. As things currently stand, Members of the European Parliament in ITRE still have the possibility to ensure a genuine and unconditional Net Neutrality principle, as proposed by others committees, so as to protect freedom of expression and online innovation. But instead, all might be lost because the liberal (ALDE) and socio-democrat (S&D) political groups seem ready to adopt the disastrous proposals made by Pilar Del Castillo Vera, the lead rapporteur in charge of this dossier. Unless citizens act and key MEPs show political leadership, we may be about to lose the Internet as we know it.

Update: During the shadow meeting, held on the afternoon of February 18, Catherine Trautmann has opposed to anti-Net Neutrality provisions proposed by the rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera

EU Parliament Civil Liberties Committee Paves the Way for Real Net Neutrality

Brussels, 12 February 2014 — Today, the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee of the European Parliament adopted its opinion report on the European single market for electronic communications. Key amendments were adopted which, if included in the final text, would guarantee that network neutrality becomes an enforceable rule across all of the European Union. La Quadrature du Net warns against attempts in the Industry committee (ITRE), the lead committee on this dossier, to adopt watered-down amendments that would allow telecommunication operators to distribute specialised services in a way that would radically undermine freedom of communication and innovation on the Internet.

EU Parliament Will Soon Vote on the Fate of Net Neutrality in Europe

Paris, 6 February 2014 — In the coming days, committees of the European Parliament will decide the fate of Net neutrality in Europe. Ahead of European elections, our representatives cannot miss this opportunity to truly defend EU citizens' rights, protect communications online and thus guarantee freedom of expression and information throughout Europe.

EU Parliament Still Divided on the Issue of Net Neutrality

The proposal by the European Commission on Net neutrality is currently under discussion in the European Parliament. All committees that were appointed to express an opinion on it have come to their conclusions, except for Civil liberties (LIBE) committee, whose report will be voted on 12 February.

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