TNT blogTomorrow the European Parliament and the Council might authorize graduated response (3-strikes) all over Europe in the Telecoms Package. Only a proposal which takes into careful consideration the issues raised by the EP legal services can avoid this dreadful threat to fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression and information, and the right to a due process. ScambioEtico shows, after an intense and extensive lawyers consultation, that a proposal which respects the objections raised by the Council and by the EP legal services and the citizens’ rights is possible and available; therefore, for the European Parliament, it is only a matter of interest in protection of citizens to bring on such proposal. Will the MEPs be strong enough to stand once again for fundamental rights or will they be bent by the pressures of the industry lobbies and the Council?

We have carefully read the EP Legal Services’ argument as well as the Council’s declaration on Friday 30 Oct declaring that “competences not conferred upon the Union in the Treaties remain with the Member States”. Recognising these conclusions, we still believe ensuring a high level of consumer protection under Article 153 EC can be achieved through measures adopted for the completion of the internal market under Article 95 EC. We are not convinced the proposals from the Council properly reflects the urgent need for the Telecoms Package to provide such harmonisation.

We believe it is essential Article 8 of the Framework Directive provides an instruction to the national regulatory authorities to guarantee the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and that such regulatory task is necessary for a proper completion of the internal market, along with the other tasks to promote competition, contribute to the development of the internal market and to otherwise promote the interests of the citizens of the European Union.

Therefore we propose the following:

Amending Recital 3a adopted in 2nd reading:

Recognising that the Internet is essential for education and for the exercise of freedom of expression and access to information, any restriction imposed on the access and/or use of the Internet should be in accordance with the general principles of Community law, notably in accordance with the European Convention of Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In particular, end-users’ access to electronic communications services should not be suspended without prior ruling by the judicial authorities without prejudice to the competence of a Member State to determine in line with its own constitutional order and with fundamental rights appropriate procedural safeguards assuring due process.

Amending Article 8.4.h adopted in 2nd reading:

The national regulatory authorities shall promote the interests of the citizens of the European Union by applying the general principles of Community law, and especially applying the principle that no restrictions to end-users’ access to electronic communications services shall be imposed that hinder the protection and exercise of the rights conferred by Article 6 and Article 13 of the European Convention of Human Rights, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights and of the European Union.