Parliamentary Question: Conformity of the draft Italian decree implementing Directive 2007/65/EC with the Directive and with fundamental rights

Marietje

Parliamentary questions

10 February 2010 O-0014/10 ORAL QUESTION WITH DEBATE pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure by Sonia Alfano, Alexander Alvaro, Ivo Vajgl, Marietje Schaake, Sophia in 't Veld and Niccolò Rinaldi, on behalf of the ALDE Group to the Commission Subject: Conformity of the draft Italian decree implementing Directive 2007/65/EC with the Directive and with fundamental rights The Italian Government has issued the scheme for a legislative decree No 169(1) implementing Directive 2007/65/EC(2) on media broadcasting services. The proposal, if approved, would impose on websites such as Google or blogs that contain audio-video files the obligation to obtain a governmental authorisation for the broadcasting of media content (such as live streaming and web casting, as provided by Article 17 letter cc of the decree amending Article 21 of the Consolidated Text on media). Stakeholders, NGOs and citizens have expressed criticism of the decree, while the President of the Italian authority for communications has affirmed that ‘a generalised filter on internet is on one side restrictive - in a way that no other western European country has ever accepted to do, while on the other inefficient - since it is an a priori bureaucratic filter’. He has also stated that such an authorisation provision ‘is outside of the framework of the Directive and this would make it incompatible with European law: as such, it could raise questions for the Commission that would undoubtedly express criticism of it’. Does the Commission not believe that such provisions are not envisaged in any way by the Directive? Does it not believe that they could put at risk freedom of expression and of information, as guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and by Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, notably by attributing to the government a power of censure that is contrary to human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law, guaranteed by Articles 2 and 6 TEU? Does any other EU Member State or third State have similar provisions and if so, which States? How does the Commission envisage ensuring the protection of fundamental rights in Europe’s Digital Agenda?