Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) welcomes the result of the plenary vote on net neutrality in the European Parliament: “After months of negotiations, the European Parliament has today adopted my proposal to close the last remaining loopholes in the text, in order to enshrine net neutrality in European law. This is essential for competitiveness, innovation and the open internet in Europe. The Parliament supports the rights of consumers and a level playing field for all players in the digital single market. 500 million Europeans must soon be able to rely on legal guarantees for an open internet.
In 2012 The Netherlands enshrined net neutrality in law on the initiative of the social-liberal D66 party. For Dutch companies a level playing-field is important; being the frontrunner has disadvantages as long as not all European companies have to abide by the same rules. “Without legal guarantees for net neutrality 1 in 4 Europeans are unable to access the online services of their choice. Today’s vote also creates safeguards to ensure that players without deep pockets, such as start-ups, hospitals or universities, cannot be pushed out of the market as a result of deals between internet service providers and content providers to offer faster services at a higher price. The public value of an open internet can not be underestimated”, says Schaake.
Roaming costs abolished
Besides net neutrality, the proposal for a single European telecoms market includes measures to abolish the high costs for mobile roaming in Europe. Using your mobile phone abroad should cost the same as at home. Schaake: “The advantages for tourists and business travellers will be enormous. With the liberal group in the European Parliament we have made sure that these benefits will already take effect at the end of 2015. Finally eliminating roaming costs is an important step towards the completion of the European digital single market.”