During this morning's debate on the proposal for an EU single market for electronic communications, GUE/NGL MEPs called on the Parliament to return to the original goals that were set for net neutrality and eliminating roaming charges.

Portuguese MEP, Marisa Matias, explained: “The proposed agreement does not achieve the goals that we set for ourselves when this whole process began. The current version of the agreement is not the same as the one that was announced to European citizens and voted on earlier.

“Net neutrality needs to be guaranteed for all European citizens. But there are too many ambiguities around net neutrality in this agreement so we do not have guaranteed rights.

“We have tabled amendments to clarify some of these points. We need to go back to the earlier proposal with the core set of principles that we committed to achieving with our citizens. We can't allow compromises that aren't aimed at bettering our citizens' lives,” Matias concluded.

Spanish MEP, Paloma López Bermejo, commented: “When it comes to roaming its quite clear that it's unacceptable for big telecommunications groups to demand that some people pay twice as much as others for the same service. Likewise, net neutrality is a basic demand, not only for people's freedoms, but also for productive innovation and equal access to an increasingly digitalised world for both work and leisure.”

Portuguese MEP, João Ferreira, told the Parliament: “We have been told that the telecommunications single market is going to improve people's lives, but in fact workers are going to lose out, people in general are going to lose out.”

“We are going to have more monopolies. We've been told that ending roaming charges will basically still be administered by the multinational companies, there are going to be some perverse effects as well. A few weeks ago 28 national regulators of telecommunications met and said that as a result of tourism in the south of Europe, the countries in the south will lose out; the people in those countries who can't actually afford to travel will have to pick up the tab for the lower roaming charges for tourists through increased bills at home.”

GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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