EBU welcomes European parliament’s connected continent report


03 Apr 2014

Today’s crucial vote in Brussels on the “Connected Continent” package spells out good news for the open Internet and citizens’ universal access to content of public value.

The European Parliament’s amendments on net neutrality and radio spectrum have brought substantial improvements to the original legislative proposal submitted by the European Commission. The EU Member States must now agree with the European Parliament’s amendments for the Connected Continent package to become EU law. 

EBU Head of European Affairs Nicola Frank said: “While the European Commission had set an ambitious objective for net neutrality in Europe, the European Parliament has gone the extra mile to ensure choice on the Open Internet for audiences. While it should be possible to offer specialised services, people’s freedom to access online content of their choice should clearly come first. At the same time, the provisions adopted today will also allow more room for online innovation.”

“We also welcome the clear improvements to the provisions on radio spectrum, which recognise its importance for broadcasting, and its contribution to European culture and media pluralism.”

The European Parliament’s amendments better guarantee a dynamic co-existence of Internet access services and specialised services by clearly distinguishing between them. They also clarify that specialised services shall not impair the quality of internet access services and establish a clear principle that discrimination against specific content is forbidden.

The value of radio spectrum as a vital resource for broadcasting and the achievement of a wide range of social, cultural and economic values, notably cultural diversity and media pluralism, is explicitly recognised.

On a similar note, the European People’s Party (EPP) – the largest political group in the European Parliament –presented yesterday a forward-looking policy orientation paper on the Internet of tomorrow. The EPP calls for an open, competitive and safe Internet. It also points towards the importance of ensuring the continuity and further development of digital terrestrial broadcasting technology in Europe, highlighting that it is a powerful wireless technology that will remain an essential part of the digital distribution landscape.