Europe's political youth organizations demand strict net neutrality rules

EU member states are set to adopt a draft regulation on net neutrality later this week

European political youth organizations have demanded that European countries draft strict and clear net neutrality rules that prevent ISPs from discriminating against certain Internet traffic.

In order to keep the Internet open, all data on the Internet should be treated equally, 51 youth organizations said in a manifest sent to European ministers on Monday.

The ministers, gathered in the Council of the EU, are in the process of discussing a new EU telecom law as proposed by the European Commission and the European Parliament that contains clauses on net neutrality and roaming. The Parliament in April last year voted to enshrine net neutrality in EU law, so that all traffic would be treated equally and without discrimination. However, the Council is trying to get some traffic discrimination back into the draft.

This week, the Council's presidency plans to finalize the draft regulation which could be adopted by the EU countries as early as Wednesday. If the draft is adopted, the Council will start negotiations with the Parliament. Both law making bodies will probably work on a compromise.

The latest proposal by the Council presidency on net neutrality was published last Friday. While it requires that traffic management measures be non-discriminatory, it "does not preclude providers of Internet access services to implement traffic management measures which take into account objectively different quality of service requirements of certain traffic," such as high bandwidth traffic, it said. This could for instance include services like Netflix or YouTube.

However, the European youth parties "fiercely" opposed efforts from the Council to allow discrimination of Internet traffic. They called on the Council to preserve net neutrality as drafted by the Parliament. "We strongly urge the Council to define net neutrality clearly -- and without any loopholes -- in order to safeguard equality, facilitate fair competition and foster innovation," they said.

Youth parties from left to right, conservative to liberal backed the call. This big support shows that the youth of Europe is willing to raise their voice to keep the internet open, without censorship or privacy infringement from ISP, said Dirkjan Tijs, the president of the Dutch Young Democrats, the party that initiated the action, in an email. The Council cannot ignore such a strong statement, he said.

The Council has still some time to listen to the call from the youth parties. The proposed draft is not final and the Presidency of the Council is set to make some changes to the draft on Monday, a Council official said. However, given the long negotiations in the Council it is unlikely that those changes are going to be so significant that they will reflect the demands of the youth parties.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationinternetlegislationeuropean commissionEuropean ParliamentCouncil of the European Union

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?