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Parliamentary questions
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13 July 2017
Question for written answer P-004813-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Lucy Anderson (S&D) , Heinz K. Becker (PPE) , Miriam Dalli (S&D) , Jean Lambert (Verts/ALE) , Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL) , Sofia Ribeiro (PPE) , Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) , Josef Weidenholzer (S&D) , Olga Sehnalová (S&D) , Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D)

 Subject:  A socially inclusive digital single market
 Answer in writing 

Consumer protection and social inclusion are part of the European Union’s strategic objective of improving the quality of life of its citizens, which should include, in this context, the right for individuals to choose how they receive administrative documents. The Commission’s own statistics show that 60 million Europeans have never used the Internet and that 45% of the population of Europe do not have sufficient digital skills to do so.

Furthermore, certain groups — such as senior citizens, rural communities, households with financial difficulties and citizens with specific disabilities — would be disadvantaged if Internet access and skills became the only means of communication and regular physical postal transportation disappeared. People are already increasingly being forced by governments and statutory authorities, and by organisations such as utility companies and banks, to communicate by electronic means only, regardless of their willingness or ability to do so.

In the light of the above, the Commission is asked to answer the following:
Does the Digital Single Market strategy foresee provisions to safeguard the right of citizens to continue to receive administrative documents on paper by regular mail if they so wish?
To what extent could this principle be enshrined in European Union consumer protection legislation?
Legal notice - Privacy policy