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 Full text 
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Trans-European telecommunications networks (debate)

  Amelia Andersdotter, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, I want to thank my colleagues very much for the fruitful cooperation that we have had on this file. I very much enjoyed working with my parliamentary colleagues on investing in future infrastructure.

That said, I have some criticisms about the way the Commission is pushing forward its agenda to invest in more infrastructure in the Member States and in digital services. It is clear that the Connecting Europe Facility did not work well with the Member States. The top-down approach opted for by the Commission does not properly take into account the various models that are deployed in the Member States, and it is clear, therefore, that they reject what seems to be an arbitrary and sometimes anti-competitive approach by the Commission to telecommunications.

I understand that the Member States do not understand exactly what the Commission is going for, and also that there is uncertainty in Parliament because of the lack of clarity in the Commission’s positions, including on the Connecting Europe Facility. It was difficult to get the discussions under way, and I hope that in the next legislature the Commission will not act in that way.

In the Verts/ALE Group we will reject the proposal when it is put to the vote tomorrow, because we do not believe that the small amount of money which is left for investing in the digital service infrastructure is very useful. For one thing, the Commission seems intent on rendering illegal, or at least making it very difficult to deploy, the kinds of projects they have been investing in in the past. For e-identification, for example, we have had several large European research projects, even flagship programmes, investigating the issue, which were later not put into active legislation by the Commission when they updated legislation from the 1990s. So that seems a useless waste of money by the Commission.

I think we need to be smart about the way we make digital policies. Such policies are definitely desirable with good networks and with good services, but the Commission really needs to show much better strategic thinking and consistency with their previous policies if this is going to be a sustainable [word(s) missing as microphone cut out] organisations to work with and imposed on the Member States.

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