Procedure : 2004/0117(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0433/2006

Texts tabled :

A6-0433/2006

Debates :

Votes :

PV 12/12/2006 - 14.7
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2006)0537

RECOMMENDATION FOR SECOND READING     ***II
PDF 140kDOC 71k
29 November 2006
PE 380.748v02-00 A6-0433/2006

on the Council common position for adopting a recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on protection of minors and human dignity and the right of reply in relation to the competitiveness of the European audiovisual and online information services industry

(95771/2006 – C6-0313/2006 – 2004/0117(COD))

Committee on Culture and Education

Rapporteur: Marielle De Sarnez

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the Council common position for adopting a recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on protection of minors and human dignity and the right of reply in relation to the competitiveness of the European audiovisual and online information services industry

(95771/2006 – C6-0313/2006 – 2004/0117(COD))

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council common position (95771/2006 – C6-0313/2006),

–   having regard to its position at first reading(1) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2004)0341)(2),

–   having regard to the amended Commission proposal (COM(2006)0031)(3),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Culture and Education (A6-0433/2006),

1.  Approves the common position;

2.  Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the common position;

3.  Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council pursuant to Article 254(1) of the EC Treaty;

4.  Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Union;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

(1)

OJ C 193 E, 17.8.2006, p. 217.

(2)

Not yet published in OJ.

(3)

Not yet published in OJ.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Report on second reading

The Commission's proposal for a recommendation has been improved and complemented by the European Parliament on the basis of almost unanimous agreement in committee. It was then adopted at first reading in plenary on 7 September 2005. It sets out a number of detailed measures which could be taken by the Member States and online audiovisual service industries to ensure better protection for minors and for human dignity, together with measures to guarantee a right of reply on the online media.

Numerous negotiations have been conducted with the Council and Commission in an effort to secure a right of reply. The proposal for a common position could be considered as a step forward since, to date, the right of reply has not been recognised at European level by the online media.

Internet has become the most popular means of communication, particularly among young people able to access it at school, in cybercafés and on third-generation mobile telephones. It is therefore a matter of urgency for the European Union to propose a comprehensive set of measures at European level seeking to provide at least a minimum degree of protection for the most vulnerable and for minors, who are more and more frequently exposed to harmful (violent or pornographic) images.

The common position is satisfactory insofar as it takes on board the principal concerns expressed by the political groups as a whole:

Better information and guidance: The proposal for a recommendation advises Member States to launch information campaigns to increase public awareness of the potential dangers of Internet and distribute information packs containing tips on 'safe surfing', protective filter systems and the use of hotlines to be introduced in each Member State for registering complaints or reporting harmful content. They should also provide ongoing training for teachers and educators concerning the use of Internet and the dangers of online discussion groups such as forums and chatlines.

The information thus provided should enable Internet users (parents, teachers, minors, etc.) to determine the content and services which are totally safe to access.

A more responsible approach: The text also stresses the need to instil a greater sense of responsibility into those working in this sector, who should do everything possible to avoid any form of discrimination, prevent the circulation of illegal or harmful content, ensuring that it can be reported where it occurs and introduce a quality label for service providers. For this purpose, they are called upon to facilitate Internet access while avoiding harmful content, for example by means of filters, common designations and warning banners (all these measures being detailed by way of example in the two annexes to the recommendation).

Right of reply in the online media: Finally, the proposal for a recommendation seeks to facilitate exercise of a right of reply in all online media. This already works satisfactorily in the written press and audiovisual services in all the Member States. Minimum guidelines should therefore be established at European level concerning exercise of the right of reply in respect of all new electronic communications media (Internet, mobile phones). This proposal seeks to ensure a right of reply adapted to technological progress.

Monitoring by the Commission: The Commission proposal also envisages the possibility of introducing a European freephone number providing the public with better information regarding complaint procedures or filter systems and the possible establishment of a domain name such as KID.eu. It is also gratifying to learn that the Commission intends to submit a report on the implementation and effectiveness of the measures provided for in this recommendation and to re-examine it if necessary.

This recommendation should ensure that Internet remains an attractive means of communication which is, at the same time, safer for the younger and more vulnerable members of society. In a world of constantly developing technology and a completely open communications landscape, it is necessary to protect the fundamental freedoms of users, in particular minors, by ensuring that the relevant measures and standards are constantly updated, implemented on a mutual basis and very regularly evaluated. This is the condition which must be met if the people of the European Union are to feel safe using these new technologies and, is therefore necessary for their regulated and ongoing development.


PROCEDURE

Title

Council common position for adopting a recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on protection of minors and human dignity and the right of reply in relation to the competitiveness of the European audiovisual and online information services industry

References

9577/1/2006 – C6-0313/2006 – 2004/0117(COD)

Date of Parliament’s first reading – P number

7.9.2005

P6_TA(2005)0330

Commission proposal

COM(2004)0341 – C6-0029/2004

Amended Commission proposal

COM(2006)0031

Date receipt of common position announced in plenary

28.9.2006

Committee responsible
  Date announced in plenary

CULT
28.9.2006

Rapporteur(s)
  Date appointed

Marielle De Sarnez
20.9.2006

 

Previous rapporteur(s)

 

 

Discussed in committee

9.10.2006

28.11.2006

 

 

 

Date adopted

28.11.2006

Result of final vote

+ :

–:

0 :

19

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Christopher Beazley, Guy Bono, Marie-Hélène Descamps, Věra Flasarová, Hanna Foltyn-Kubicka, Milan Gaľa, Vasco Graça Moura, Lissy Gröner, Ruth Hieronymi, Manolis Mavrommatis, Marianne Mikko, Ljudmila Novak, Miguel Portas, Karin Resetarits, Nikolaos Sifunakis, Hannu Takkula, Helga Trüpel, Thomas Wise, Tomáš Zatloukal

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Erna Hennicot-Schoepges

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

Date tabled

29.11.2006

Comments (available in one language only)

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