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Parliamentary question - E-000772/2013Parliamentary question

Net neutrality and Commissioner Kroes' statements in ‘Libération’

Question for written answer E-000772-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Judith Sargentini (Verts/ALE) , Sandrine Bélier (Verts/ALE) , Bart Staes (Verts/ALE)

In an article published in the French newspaper ‘Libération’ on 16 January 2013, Commissioner Kroes states that she is proposing an initiative that would grant Internet providers the right to offer cheaper but restricted types of Internet services, under which certain parts of the Internet would not be accessible.

Parliament has on several occasions affirmed the position that upholding net neutrality is of the utmost importance, as in its resolution of October 26 2012 on completing the Digital Single Market[1].

1. Could the Commission confirm whether it is planning a new initiative affecting Internet freedom, as referred to in the above op-ed article in the French daily ‘Libération’?

2. Could the Commission confirm whether it is considering allowing Internet providers, subject to certain conditions, the option of offering content-limited Internet services (for both mobile and fixed-line Internet)?

3. If so, is the Commission familiar with the various resolutions adopted by Parliament in which such an interpretation of the Internet market is totally rejected? How does the Commission envision bringing such a proposal into line with those resolutions?

4. Will this Commissions proposal limit or affect the prohibitions on violation of net neutrality that some Member States have in place or propose to have in place?

5. Has the Commission investigated the possible effects of its planned measures on innovation in the field of Internet services? If so, would it be willing to share the outcomes of this research with Parliament?

6. Would the Commission be prepared to withdraw the comments made by Commissioner Kroes in ‘Libération’?

7. When may Parliament expect an initiative from the Commission to embed net neutrality in European law?

OJ C 354 E, 04/12/2013