Call conciliation MEPs sept28

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First conciliation meeting on the Telecoms Package will take place tonight, monday sept. 28th at 21h30. In this meeting, 27 Members of the European Parliament will decide on the future of EU Internet. They will choose whether or not they will fix the dreadful anti-Net neutrality dispositions voted by the Parliament in 2nd reading, under the influence of AT&T. Rapporteurs and representatives of the Swedish Presidency oppose to this idea so far. EU citizens only have a few hours to urge MEPs to preserve Europe's competitiveness, competition, and citizen's fundamental rights.




Check this list of the 27 Members of the European Parliament in the conciliation committe, sortable by country, political group, or score to the previous votes of the Telecoms Package.

It is important to contact members of every political group !


Key points

  • We all love Internet. There is only one Internet for everybody, regardless of who your operator is. This is what makes Internet great. This is Net Neutrality.
  • Operators want to discriminate Internet traffic by making you pay more depending on what you use. Like on the mobile "Internet" when they forbid you to use Skype so you pay expensive mobile rates. It would be the end of equality between all Internet users. i would be the end of users' freedom to access the content, services and applications they want.
  • Amendments allowing such discriminatory practices were voted in second reading by the European Parliament. (art. 20 and 21 and recital 26 of Universal Service Directive) They must be fixed. Strong affirmation of Net neutrality must be written in the Telecoms Package.
  • The US recently decided that the principle of non-discrimination over the networks (wired or wireless) is more important for society as a whole, innovation, and fundamental freedoms, than AT&T's new business models. Europe cannot be left behind and must do the same.
  • Tonight's meeting will decide of the scope of the negotiations. Net neutrality *must* be part of it.
  • The European Parliament must show that it is useful, and both able and willing to protect EU citizens.

Sources of analysis and argumentation

You can find arguments to talk to them in the following documents and sources:

Arguments and counter-arguments

"Net neutrality will be dealt separately, after the Telecoms Package"

  • Net neutrality is already in the Telecoms Package, with the dispositions pushed by AT&T and voted in second reading by the Parliament.
  • It is under threat.
  • Saying that it will be dealt later implicitly means that you agree that in the meantime (2 to 5 years?) the operators will take control of the net by applying discriminating practices. This would irremediably alter the shape of the Internet.

"Art 20 and 21 of Universal Service Directive do not harm Net neutrality"

  • These provisions talk about “conditions limiting access to and/or use of services and applications”. If an operator limit access to services and applications, we are directly into discriminative network management practices, that harm competition, innovation, and fundamental rights.
  • This is for instance in total contradiction with the fifth principle of the US FCC to enforce Net neutrality

"If we don't allow discriminatory practices, operators won't be able to invest in the networks anymore"

  • Investment model of the Internet is based on buying more bandwidth, not on buying more controlling and filtering hardware.
  • For years, operators of wireless networks didn't lower their prices, long after their return-on-investment...
  • The very same operators have anti-competitive practices all around Europe, are you sure you want to give them one of the most powerful anti-competitive levies that exist over the Internet.

"Recital 26 fixes the problems"

  • It's just a recital, with no obligation of transposition
  • It says that a reasonable network management can be used for solving network capacity problems, where only investing in more bandwidth can.

"We cannot reopen Harbour's directives"

  • Conciliation committee can choose to reopen whatever they want.
  • A strong guarantee for Net neutrality can be put within the Framework directive anyway.

"The Parliament alone cannot take this decision"

  • In conciliation, Parliament has equal power with the Council.
  • The Parliament is in position of force, as it voted two times, with a strong majority, provisions rejected by the Council.
  • The Parliament must show its commitment to protecting EU citizens' fundamental rights, or will show the image of a useless parliament, leaving full-power to the Council of EU.

General advices

  • A phone call is 100 times more efficient than an email! Phonecalls are personal and are harder to avoid than emails.
  • A cut/paste email has *negative* impact: it weakens the content and make it look like spam.
  • MEPs assistants who will answer are most of the time young and intelligent people who understand the importance of these issues. All of them use Internet.
  • Always be polite in your communications. MEPs and their assistants are people just like us.
  • After sending a short email explaining your concerns in a few words, and containing as an attachment the note of La Quadrature, you can make a phonecall. This may be more useful as it has more impact than an email. (MEP's offices are saturated with mails)
  • Don't hesitate to offer to send additional information by email, as a follow-up.
  • If your correspondent offers to call back but doesn't, don't hesitate to call back. MEPs and their assistants are often very busy.
  • If you don't find the answer to a question, note it down and offer you correspondent to call back once you'll have it. Don't hesitate to submit it to us (contact AT, #laquadrature on or discussion list: discut AT
  • As a rule: have at hand what you need for note taking, to note down the name of your correspondent, information they might give you, a list of blocking points you may work on before calling back, remaining questions, documents you need to send to them, etc.

Campaigning material

Useful call for action in video by I Power (thanx Reese!)