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Thursday, 11 March 2021 - Brussels Provisional edition

Evaluation of the Geo-blocking Regulation (debate)

  Róża Thun und Hohenstein, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, I would like to thank the Commissioner very much. Yes, geo-blocking: the situation is improving but it’s still a very serious problem for many Europeans, and as Anna mentioned, especially the Digital Single Market needs improvement. I will give you a concrete example.

Recently, I wanted to see a film that was available on a Portuguese video-on-demand platform financed from the EU funds. But I was not able to watch it because I was geo-blocked. The number of those who want to access digital content cross-border grows very rapidly, and half of them fail. So it means that millions of citizens in the European Union are hindered from benefits which the Digital Single Market should bring them. And what about those who belong to linguistic minorities and who are deprived of access to culture in their own language?

We like to paraphrase the famous sentence of Massimo d’Azeglio and use it in the European context: we made a European Union; now we need Europeans.

Commissioner, this goal will not be achieved in a Union that passively watches how the freedom of media is being destroyed in some of our Member States, how geo-blocking divides us along the internal borders of the European Union. And the Commission talks very beautifully. It’s time to act, Commissioner. We impatiently expect positive, tangible, concrete results.

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