Today the European Parliament decides about the future of net neutrality on continent. In the past week we have seen a huge mobilisation with famous voices asking for amendments including Tim Berners-Lee, Lawrence Lessig, Barbara van Schewick and many companies. The Members of European Parliament now have to decide if they stand for an open internet or if regulators and judges will decide how open the infrastructure will be.
8:30 Rapporteur Pilar del Castillo defends the regulation and thanks everybody involved to the good work.
8:40 Commissioner Andrus Ansip defends the roaming provisions and urges MEPS to vote for this regulation
8:45 MEP KARIŅŠ, Krišjānis (EPP, Latvia) defends the roaming provisions
8:43 Patricia Toia (S&D, Italy) defends the regulation. Thanks her predecessor shadow rapporteur Trautmann. (She was the one who agreed for the socialist in the middle of the night to the current net neutrality text in exchange for roaming, her predecessor fought much harder) “We must vote for this regulation with no amendments”
8:52 FORD, Vicky (ECR, UK) she praises the roaming provisions and says how users will be protected with the new net neutrality rules. “There will be no two speed europe”.
8:53 Jens Rhode (ALDE, Denmark) „We can only create more jobs when we limit the rules of movement through the EU. Here we introduce the first safeguards for the open internet. We have nothing in Europe, we would have liked to go further. This is the first step in creating consumer rights. It is a big step for citizens and companies.“
8:56 MATIAS, Marisa (GUE, Portugal) This is not the regulation that we announced to our votes before the election. The abolishment of roaming is not coming anytime soon. We don’t have net neutrality if you have ambiguity in the text. Many citizens have criticised. The internet is already our common heritage. (she was mostly not present in the trial negotiations)
8:59 Michel Reimon (Greens, Austria) Democracy lives from communication. The neutral internet is the most vital infrastructure for the democracy of our future. If we abolish net neutrality we hurt our democracy. If net neutrality is abolished we cement the big companies. With this regulation you will only help a few big companies. That Ansip is standing here is brave, but Commissioner Günther Oettinger should be standing here. He is responsible. Oettinger is posting heavily about this debate, or so is his team. But he should not only post, he should also read what the citizens tell him. There is not support for this proposals, you should vote against it.
9:02 TAMBURRANO, Dario (EFDD, Italy) This can still be a historic vote, please vote for the amendments
9:03 KAPPEL, Barbara (ENF, Austria) the internet will change rapidly in the coming years (internet of things) we have to be prepared and create the right legal basis
VIRKKUNEN, Henna (EPP, Finland)
9:05 Petra Kammerevert (S&D, Germany) The current text does not deliver net neutrality. The loopholes are so broad that net neutrality is not guaranteed. We are paying a much to high price for the abolishment of roaming fees. The internet is the fundamental infrastructure of our time. (Kammerevert was the one political who was following this dossier from the beginning till the end and always stand firm for net neutrality)
– many voices shouting while Kammerevert is speaking –
– problems with the blue card system (asking questions to MEPs during the debate) –
9:12 KALLAS, Kaja (ALDE, Estonia) We seem to have real communication problems here in the Parliament. I often say that we have differences in our communication, borders and roaming are a good example for this. How do you define net neutrality? These questions are important. The internet was created as an open platform for communication and innovation. Until recently it seemed not important, but now we have to ensure the level playing field. I urge commissioner Ansip to ensure a common implementation of this regulation. We have to look at BEREC’s role in this.
9:15 LÓPEZ BERMEJO, Paloma (GUE, Italy) We appreciate the position of the commission. But the
net neutrality has to be protected. We have to look at the content of this proposal.
9:17 Reda, Julia (Greens, Germany) reads the definition of net neutrality from amendment 3 and the first reading position. The founder of the world wide web is urging us not to abolish net neutrality in Europe. He is joined by many european startUps, the world wide leading expert Barbara van Schewick and Presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig. This regulation gives incentive to companies not to invest in the network. This is the opposite of net neutrality and therefore I urge you not to adopt this regulation.
– Jens Rhode is again raising the issue of Blue cards –
9:20 MEP Grapini asks a question to MEP Reda: Do you think we need a guarantee from the commission about 2017. Do you think it is important to get an comittement? The market has waited to long for this proposal.
Reda’s response: The regulation as such doesn’t set an end date of roaming. What we are doing here is giving the power to legislate to the commission and regulators.
9:22 HELMER, Roger (EFDD, UK) We are for net neutrality but not in heavy handed EU policy. The roaming provisions are flawed.
– Vicky Ford asks a question to Helmer –
– the question is a statement in defence of the roaming proposal –
– Helmer response with more criticism –
— Most seats are empty. The are currently around 50 of the 751 MEPs sitting in the plenary —
9:26 RÜBIG, Paul (EPP, Austria) I want to thank our Rapporteur Pilar del Castillo for this great proposal to reduce roaming charges. On net neutrality we have to ensure that data is treated equally in order to avoid bottle necks. Rübig response to a question and says this EU regulation is better then the US regulation.
9:30 MIZZI, Marlene (S&D, Malta) I am not fully happy with the net neutrality provisions but at least we have common rules for this goal in the EU.
9:31 FOX (ECR, UK) Ashley I am happy that we can keep our parental control filters in the UK.
9:33 GIRAUTA VIDAL, Juan Carlos (ALDE, Spain) He thanks the Rapporteur for their work and praises the proposal. The abolishment of roaming charges is a big step forward. He is unhappy about the net neutrality „minimal provisions“.
9:35 FERREIRA, João (GUE, Portugal) the great promises of the digital single market was not followed up. This will only strengthen big companies. We have been told that the end of roaming charges still bona be decided by big multi-nationals. Countries from the south will have to pick up the tap about the abolishment of roaming charges.
9:36 ZULLO, Marco (EFDD, Italy) we have guaranteed nothing. We are handing out mechanisms that make it impossible to enforce the safeguards of users. Looking at net neutrality. We are talking about the definition, but really providers will be able to still discriminate.
9:38 LEBRETON, Gilles (ENF, France) If the text is voted through at it is there would still be the possibility of discrimination. Therefore I vote for these amendments. The FCC has proven that net neutrality works and guaranteed for their citizens. We have to do the same today.
9:39 THUN UND HOHENSTEIN, Róża Gräfin von (EPP, Polen): Service Providers will have to treat all data equally without interfering. If there is a problem … [translation hickup] We have to adopt this regulation now.
9:42 HENKEL, Hans-Olaf (ECR, Germany)
We have to remain vigilant. net neutrality can not be a ideological battle ground. The single market is the basis for Europe. We are falling behind in the digital economy and connect our internal market to the global market. Therefore I support the commission proposal.
9:43 VERHEYEN, Sabine (ECR, Germany) the council has fought net neutrality from the beginning. Therefore the word is not even in the regulation. The Parliament adopted a good text but couldn’t get this text through. The package has to be seen as a whole. Currently we have no safeguards against network discrimination in Europe at all. If we come here to a solution it will be better then nothing. I am not happy with the net neutrality provisions, but it’s better then nothing.
9:45 GEBHARDT, Evelyne (S&D, Germany) I am also not happy with this text, but it’s better then nothing. Please mr. Commissioner we have to work had to abolish zero-rating.
9:47 BENDTSEN, Bendt (ECR, Denmark) Roaming was the milk cow. Still we got rid of it. Yes the current text is not perfect,t but it is the first time we ever get any safeguards.
9:48 MARTIN, Edouard (S&D, France) Abolishing roaming is particularly good for people living or working close to borders. net neutrality is the other important thing. This text is about neutral treatment of traffic. The text would need to be clearer, but we should not reopen negotiations. We have to stay vigilant with the implementation and the upcoming legislativ proposals.
9:50 HÖKMARK, Gunnar (ECR, Sweden) Spectrum is important. An open internet is open for new service classes.
9:51 DANTI, Nicola (S&D, Italy) the digital economy is what used to be the coal infrastructure of Europe. A digital single market is a precondition.
9:52 GRIFFIN, Theresa (S&D) I urge all colleagues to vote for this regulation because we have to abolish roaming charges.
– 7 improvised speakers on the list –
9:55 Commissioner ANSIP, Andrus If yo adopt amendments you will delay this regulation for years, not weeks. If you not approve the deal today there is not date at all. It is dangerous to use mobile devices in other countries. Now it is up to the MEPs. Common principles in net neutrality are achieved no blocking, no throttling, no paid priotization. It is a good deal, I urge you to vote for it.
10:01 DEL CASTILLO VERA, Pilar (EPP, Spain) Curial decisions will be taken today for the digital future of the EU. We are on a high speed train with no stop and the EU should be the engine. The internet is a pressures thing. The Internet is new territory that has been invented. With this regulation we will lay down the rules to access this territory non-discriminatory. It is the first time worldwide that such such a net neutrality regulation is adopted.
That’s it with the debate. Recording should be online soon. The vote will happen between 13:00 and 14:30 pm today. Most likely 13:15pm.