[pp.int.general] Article about Telecom Package approval
marco.confalonieri at email.it
Sun Nov 29 15:50:40 CET 2009
This is the translation of an article written by Athos Gualazzi
(president of the Italian Pirate Party) about the Telecom package.
"The vote of the Pirates at the European Parliament"
The Conciliation Committee had to discuss only about amendment 138.
The other parts of the Telecom Package were well-established, and would
not have been reopened for conciliation. An agreement about this was
reached on the 6th of May, when PP was not part of the European
Parliament. Therefore the objective was to persuade the Council, and
part of the Parliament, to accept a text that would have offered to the
citizens the same protections of amendment 138.
The Greens, that contain PP, ALDE and part of the socialists obtained an
article, that substitutes amendment 138, that strengthen the protection
of the fundamental rights of the citizens in the Net, forbids the
"gradual response" and especially asserts that Internet is the key
instrument for the enjoyment of some fundamental rights. It's a concept
that, until now, only Finland and Spain, in all the world, recognized.
Article 1.3a hits the same objectives of amendment 138 and even goes
beyond, although to do this had to resort to subtle (even if elegant)
The article that substitutes amendment 138 in fact can mitigate the
harmful effects of the articles that authorize traffic discrimination
and undermine the Net Neutrality.
It's a first step towards the very long process for the protection of
the Net Neutrality in Europe, which certainly couldn't be enforced in
three months by 1 MEP on 700.
As a whole, it's an important step in the right direction. From the
citizens' point of view the fundamental changes in the Package after the
introduction of article 1.3a would have made the failure of the package
more harmful than its adoption. The failure of the package would have
meant green light for the "gradual response" law in Europe, like
HADOPI2, would have left an open field for telcos to violate the Net
Neutrality, and would have left in a limbo the recognition of Internet
as a key instrument for fundamental rights, which is a key step towards
the recognition of Internet Access itself as a fundamental right.
In this way Engström, the Pirate MEP, showed great civil and political
responsibility towards his constituents and towards the european
citizens in general. Voting against the Package would have meant
throwing in the wind all these conquests and confirm the idea of the
Pirate Party's enemies, in the opinion of which the Party is not able to
carry on a wide political project. Given the lack of arguments, the only
weapon that the PP enemies in the European Parliament have, especially
when there will come the other Pirate Andersdotter, is to let people
believe that PP is a band of lunatic extremist dreamers with which is
better not to mingle. What Engström made is remarkable, also because
contributes to dismantle this vision.
The impression, from what there is on newspapers, is that in Europe is
rising an anti pirate-parties movement, that also involves the
left-wing, eager to subtract even half a percentage point to the PP
votes, letting people believe that they are the ones able to defend the
citizens' rights dear to the PP voters, while the PP would be completely
inadequate. Therefore it's essential to show that we are not a gang of
fool downloaders without any social responsibility. We are not
extremists that refuse any dialog or solution and we don't want to
delegate others to defend the themes we care about, also because we know
that in this period they would be "exchangeable" for others objectives.
We are not so far away from the legal recognition of lobbies, there are
also proposals in this sense, well, that we are considered Party,
Association or Lobby doesn't matter, what matters is to stand for the
rights of all and the path is still long. Don't forget ACTA.
Marco Confalonieri ass.prom.soc. Partito Pirata (PP Italy)
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