Motion for a resolution - B7-0506/2012Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the forthcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-2012)

19.11.2012 - (2012/2881(RSP))

to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Jacky Hénin, Marisa Matias, Miloslav Ransdorf, Patrick Le Hyaric, Lothar Bisky, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Inês Cristina Zuber on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Procedure : 2012/2881(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the forthcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-2012)


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Decision establishing the EU position for the review of the International Telecommunications Regulations to be taken at the World Conference on International Telecommunications or its preparatory instances (COM(2012)0430),

–   having regard to the European Union legislation establishing rules in the area of telecommunications,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas at the 2010 International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference it was decided to hold a World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai from 3 to 14 December 2012, with the aim of revising the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs);

B.  whereas the ITRs, which were adopted by the World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference in Melbourne in 1988 and have not been revised since, need revision in order to adapt to the new reality in this dynamic and crucial sector;

C. whereas the 27 Member States of the European Union are voting members of the ITU and whereas the EU is represented by the Commission as a non-voting sector member;

1.  Stresses that telecommunications and the internet are and should remain public goods, as this is the only way to guarantee universal access to, and democratic control over, them;

2.  Recommends that the EU’s position at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) should be that any changes to the present ITRs must be made in such a way as to promote greater international cooperation, contributing to the development of the information society for the benefit of all citizens and telecommunications users worldwide without discrimination and thereby helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to create a people-centred, development‑oriented and inclusive information society;

3.  Considers that the principles of freedom of expression, individual privacy and respect for human rights in telecommunications, in particular on the internet, are essential to the construction of a fair and democratic modern society; stresses that cultural diversity must be respected and preserved, and its expression stimulated, without the imposition of beliefs, customs or particular values;

4.  Defends the position that telecommunications and the internet are public common goods and that public authorities must guarantee universal access to them so that they can become tools for human and social development, contributing to the formation of an inclusive and non‑discriminatory society for the benefit of all;

5.  Emphasises that the regulation of telecommunications and the internet must be exercised in a transparent, multilateral and democratic manner with the participation of the various sectors of society, thereby preserving and promoting its character as a collective creation;

6.  Opposes any filtering or traffic privileges that do not meet ethical and technical criteria, be they based on political, commercial, religious or cultural factors or on any other form of discrimination or preferential treatment, including economic factors;

7.  Strongly defends the principle of net neutrality and therefore supports proposals that seek to ensure that the revised ITRs remain high-level, strategic and technology-neutral, help to achieve lower prices and greater transparency on pricing for international telecommunications traffic, and respect privacy and personal data protection;

8.  Urges greater collaboration and coordination between the ITU and relevant organisations involved in the development of IP-based networks and the future internet, through cooperation agreements, as appropriate, in order to increase the role of the ITU in internet governance so as to ensure maximum benefits for the global community; takes the view that the stability, security and overall functionality of the telecommunications network must be actively preserved through the adoption of technical measures that are consistent with international standards and encourage the adoption of best practices;

9.  Stresses that the internet must be based on open standards that facilitate interoperability, enable everyone to participate in its development, and promote the continuous development and widespread dissemination of new technologies and models for access and use; takes the view that the legal and regulatory environment must preserve the dynamics of the internet as a space for collaboration;

10. Considers that any action taken against illicit activity on the network must be aimed at those directly responsible for such activities and not at the means of access and transport, and must strictly respect legal rights of defence, always taking into account the fundamental principles of freedom of expression, privacy and respect for human rights;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.