Civil society coalition urges the Council of the EU to adopt real Net Neutrality rules

The SaveTheInternet.eu campaign mobilises EU citizens to contact their Member State representatives and tell them not to turn their backs on net neutrality.

Brussels, Belgium – Today, the SaveTheInternet.eu coalition — a group of net neutrality advocates from across Europe — called on the Council of the EU (which consists of representatives of the 28 EU Member States) to protect the open internet in its deliberations on the Telecoms Single Market proposal, being debated on Thursday, November 27. This call came in the form of a joint letter, and the relaunched SaveTheInternet.eu campaign, which enables EU citizens to contact their member state representatives to demand net neutrality protections.

“The open internet is the lifeblood of competition and free expression in the 21st century. We urge the Member States to preserve the internet’s guiding principles and enshrine net neutrality into EU law,” said Raegan MacDonald, European Policy Manager at Access.

“The Council’s latest proposal casually discards the essence of the Parliament’s text,” continued MacDonald. “Without binding definitions and safeguards preventing discrimination, the proposal risks doing more harm than good.”

Earlier this year, the SaveTheInternet.eu coalition campaigned on the European Parliament’s vote, whose version of the Regulation included strong net neutrality protections and safeguards against dangerous loopholes, including tightening the definition of so-called “specialised services”.

At the moment, the Council appears willing to undermine those provisions: the latest proposal by the Italian Presidency replaces the definitions and binding powers of the former text with “simplified principles”. This “net neutrality” proposal is in fact devoid of real net neutrality protections. If adopted, it will harm innovation in Europe and the fundamental rights of European citizens.

“Europe has a unique opportunity to set a global standard for the open internet,” continued MacDonald. “The future of the internet as a platform for economic growth, innovation and free expression is in their hands. We urge them to hear the calls of citizens from across Europe to protect net neutrality and preserve our rights online.”

Access urges the Italian Presidency not to sacrifice the quality and the spirit of the current Telecoms Single Market text for the possibly of faster negotiations. It must uphold and move forward strong net neutrality protections.

For more information, see the website of the campaign.