EU Parliament approves legal rights of Internet users

The European Parliament and Council reached a deal on the Telecoms package. After long negotiations the Council gave in to Parliament’s demands to guarantee Internet users – who are suspected of uploading or downloading illegal material – a “prior, fair and impartial procedure”.

Lena EK (Centerpartiet, Sweden), ALDE Coordinator on the ITRE committee commended the outcome: “The liberal strategy was: “No prior, no package”. It was a tough battle, but Parliament has shown its teeth. Member States will not be able to cut off the access to Internet without a prior and fair procedure, maintaining the presumption of innocence.”

Adina VALEAN (PNL, Romania), who leads the ALDE on this dossier, said: “I am happy that Council has finally understood that Parliament would not give in. Parliament has stood up for internet access to be considered as a citizen’s fundamental right.”

EP’s Vice-President Silvana KOCH-MEHRIN (FDP, Germany), member of ALDE’s negotiating team, said: “In the new German government the FDP has made it a priority to protect the citizens’ rights to access the internet. The German government’s support for Parliament´s insistence on fundamental rights was vital to our success.”

Corinne LEPAGE (MoDem, France), member of ALDE’s negotiating team, concluded: “President Sarkozy will not be happy with this deal, since it will be much more difficult for him to limit the access of Internet users.”

The Telecoms package will be finally decided in third reading by the Parliament in the November II plenary session in Strasbourg.



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