Plenary speech on the Completion of the Digital Single Market

Marietje Schaake discusses the importance of net neutrality, open internet, open access and harmonization and modernization of European copyright for the completion of the European digital single market in order to drive innovation and competitiveness. Marietje Schaake (ALDE) - Mr President, the single market is both one of the EU’s strongest legacies and one its most prevailing myths. It is not finished. When it comes to the digital single market, certainly we must move mountains of barriers to unlock the hundreds of billions of euros in value that we can add to the EU’s economy. The priorities for the MFF stand in stark contrast to what is needed in order to make the EU the world’s most competitive digital market. That should be our ambition, but it requires resources for the next century – not the last. We have also been eagerly awaiting substantial proposals by the Commission to reform and harmonise intellectual property rights. The current, fragmented system that looks at copyright through the lens of the printing press in a time of hyper-connectivity is not relevant any more. The reforms must reflect the public interest of access to knowledge, culture and information and the need to stop disproportionately protecting incumbents in the market. We need innovation and competition. That is why it is also high time that the Commission enshrines net neutrality in law. We must ensure a level playing field online and should respect and protect the open Internet. Citizens expect more from governments, and rightfully so. Open data, open standards, e-government and ICT skills in education must all contribute to better delivery for our people.