Vote in the EP committees on the Telecom Package
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The IMCO (Internal Market Committee) and ITRE (Committee on Industry, Research and Energy) committees of the European Parliament (EP) adopted on the 7 July 2008 the Telecom package, including the amendments that were considered by some NGOs as endangering the principle of the neutrality of the Internet.
One of the MEPs supervising the Telecom package, including the amendments to the five directives that should reform the EU legal framework on electronic communications has explained that the vote on these amendments had nothing to do with copyright enforcement: "There has been a great deal of dismay in the committee at the interpretation being put on these amendments.(...) The interpretation of them is alarmist and scare-mongering and deflects from the intention which was to improve consumers' rights." declared MEP Malcolm Harbou for BBC.
But the NGOs supported their initial comments that the present adopted texts could open the way to the regulation of users via the Internet Service Providers under the control of national regulators. They also praised the civic response to their campaign that has reached some MEPs, who highlighted part of the problematic amendments in the Telecom Package during the EP committees debates.
Other privacy issues related with the management of traffic data has created problems within the IMCO committee that should have included the opinion from the Civil Rights Committee (LIBE). But the Socialist and Green MEPs from the IMCO committee did not back up the suggestion of the LIBE committee to allow the processing of electronic traffic data by "any natural or legal person".
Other discussions in the ITRE committee of the EP rejected the idea of a unique EU telecom authority and suggested instead a new group called Body of European Regulators in Telecoms (BERT), formed by the 27 national regulatory authorities.
ITRE committe backed up the proposals to enhance the use of radio frequencies, but demanded several safeguards on media pluralism, public interest or emergency services.
The final vote on the Telecom package was initially planned on 2 September, but since it is clear that there will be some debates on the above-mentioned topics, the vote was delayed for the session starting on 22 September.
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The "Telecoms Package": out of the shadows, into the light (10.07.2008)
MEPs discard plan for single EU telecoms watchdog (9.07.2008)
EU Parliament split over electronic data protection (10.07.2008)
EDRi-gram: Control on Internet users pushed with the new telecom package