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Tag Archives: European Parliament
Just a short update on two issues that have also been discussed on this blog:
1. What happened with the “Telecoms Package” (that I have mentioned here and here)? It seems that most of the worrying amendments regarding copyright issues (especially the three strikes approach) were not adopted by the European Parliament. A detailed analysis by La Quadrature du Net will be published in the next days. However, it was an impressive example of digital citizen lobbyism. If you read German head over to netzpolitik.org and heise.de. EurActiv has a long and rather general article on the whole initiative. But it is true: the Internet is rather quiet about this success in the European Parliament as A Fistful of Euros notes. Bashing the EU is much easier, I guess.
2. And what about the mysterious “blogger regulation” of Marianne Mikko … that actually never really existed in the first place? Well, it was not adopted by the European Parliament (or rather not included in the EP resolution). For more details check out EUobserver and Julien Frisch.
The first reading of the so-called Telecoms Package will take place this Wednesday at 11h30am in the European Parliament. The main problem with the directive is the following: Originally the initiative aimed at regulating the market of telecommunication companies but, due to some intense lobbying by some big media companies, it now also contains proposals regarding some very controversial copyright issues. Le laquadrature du Net has a good summary of all developments surrounding this initiative. The following amendments contain some problematic provisions such as:
- Some amendments could allow Member States to create “graduated responses” against unauthorized file sharing, which would have many harmful consequences for civil liberties
- The notion of “lawful content” is a threat for civil liberties and the socio-economic development of the Internet.
- Amendment 34, if voted, can allow to harm privacy in the name of unauthorized file sharing.
Feel free to join the campaign that lobbies for a more open internet. All updates can be found here and as a RSS feed here. (everything is also available in French, German and Spanish). They also provide you with important lobbying advices for the remaining 24 hours before the vote: a very helpful example of a phone conversation with an MEP, a list of ‘incorrect’ arguments, and obviously some nice blog banners:
Does anyone remember this story? The European Parliament was accused of trying to regulate blogs… of course this was not really the case. Basically Marianne Mikko (MEP) did not understand blogging and made some strange recommendation in a EP resolution (which has no legal weight whatsoever!).
Anyway, today the EUobserver reports that this story has also arrived in Sweden:
Swedish media have erroneously reported that the EU plans to register and bill all bloggers, setting off a firestorm of reaction in the country.
Politicians of all political stripes and most major media outlets have since furiously attacked the idea as another example of Big Brother snooping into people’s daily lives, while the MEP at the heart of the controversy has been compared to Romanian dictator Nikolae Ceausescu.
The article makes some good reading if you are interested in
a) How long it takes for a topic to spread across Europe… The whole issue came up more than a month ago! Another interesting thing is how the story was transformed … the ‘first’ debate a month ago was about a “quality mark and some disclosure remarks”; now the Swedish debate was about EU plans to “register and bill all bloggers”.
b) How national and European debates mix. The new surveillance legislation in Sweden is of course a good context for the blog topic, although both originated within different policy areas. However, it seems to me that the bigger scandal is indeed the new Swedish law…
c) A bold political statement: “She has a hole in her head”
d) More proofs that blogging and presumably the Internet are not properly understood … In the words of Ms Mikko: “The Economist is a valuable brand, its articles are trusted by readers without contributors having to reveal their names,” she said. “If there is a way to validate the best bloggers the same way that publishing in the Economist validates its writers, it should be done.”
A Northern Perspective offers an explanation why we see this kind of debate in Sweden:
A combination of a lack knowledge of how the EU works, British type tabloid sensationalism and the hidden agenda of a certain group of so-called liberals can make wonders in influencing the public opinion, a very useful thing in these days when the future of the Union is very much at stake.
Here we go again, with another campaign… this time about the President of the European Commission, no doubt the most powerful person in European politics. The Who’s your Candidate? campaign calls for a transparent and democratically elected President of the European Commission. The term “presidential elections” (see logo) is somewhat misleading since the new European Council President is commonly and wrongly (!) referred to as the “president of the EU”. But however, this confusion is due to the rather unnecessary post of a European Council President… Another small mistake is connected with the second point (see below): Legally there are no Lisbon treaty articles but only amendments to TEU and TFEU articles.
Anyway, the aims of the campaign are worth supporting: Linking the EP elections to the most powerful position in the EU could turn the European Parliament elections into a truly European event with European issues and European debates. This would stop the current situation where voters use EP elections to vote on national issues. At the same time, it might help EP elections to get into the spotlight and thus result in higher turnouts.
Here is the short campaign description:
1. The President of the European Commission should no longer be chosen behind closed doors in the European Council.
2.Instead, the President of the European Commission should be chosen by the European Parliament, and, by implication, us the voters, as hinted in articles 9A and 9D of the Lisbon Treaty.
3.Therefore, the political parties in the European Parliament should, in good time before the June 2009 parliament elections, answer the question: Who’s Your Candidate?