Digital single market proposal must benefit all, not just big companies
In the European Parliament's debate on the digital single market this morning, GUE/NGL MEPs called for a more ambitious proposal to benefit working people, consumers and SMEs.
GUE/NGL Coordinator on the Industry Research and Energy Committee, Neoklis Sylikiotis, explained the amendments proposed by the group: "Many new technologies that can be introduced through the digital single market can be of huge benefit to all citizens. We must make sure that they do benefit all of our citizens; that we don't just put money into the coffers of massive companies."
"We need to re-orientate the digital single market agenda in order to make sure that this is an innovation that genuinely creates jobs, strengthens the rights of workers and strengthens the rights of consumers. We need to make it easier for SMEs to access finance and thereby to create more jobs." Sylikiotis continued.
"We should also make sure that there is free access to the internet throughout the EU."
Czech MEP, Jiří Maštálka, added: "We would like to draw attention to some problems that must be overcome. For instance, data protection - protection for consumers when they are buying things in the single market or dealing with institutions through e-government."
"There is also an issue regarding the digital single market for people working from home whose rights must be respected. The digital single market must have a social dimension."
GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur on the report for the Industry Research and Energy Committee, Cornelia Ernst, raised additional issues: "As far as I can see, the European Commission's plans are still not sufficient to guarantee equal access for all to the digital single market."
"The dinosaur of geo-blocking should be consigned to the museum. Geo-blocking is not good for cultural diversity. On the contrary, it thwarts cultural diversity and leads to illegal downloading."
"We have been in favour of free software from the very beginning. Unfortunately, I don't see this being supported enough here."
"There is also a huge amount to be done in developing broadband, and without net neutrality this report is worth nothing," Ernst concluded.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20