Today, Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) will ask European Commissioner Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) for a detailed proposal to enshrine net neutrality in EU law. In the Netherlands, the first country in Europe to guarantee net neutrality, blocking or throttling competing free services such as Skype and Whatsapp by telecom providers is already prohibited. "The EU must end providers hampering the use of free services and their tracking of consumers´ surfing behavior. To maintain a level playing field and to protect consumers, it is time for EU-wide legislation on net neutrality," Schaake says. Competition The European Commission has thus far considered that transparency about terms and conditions, and competition between telecom- and internet providers are sufficient to facilitate net neutrality. In practice however, these principles are not enough of a safeguard. To give new services and innovative start-ups a fair chance, incumbents should not be favored over newcomers in the market. "We are living in an online connected world. National net neutrality legislation is a good start, but to restore the level playing field and guarantee fair competition in the digital single market, we need EU laws." Slippery slope Implementing net neutrality in EU legislation is not only important today, but will be increasingly essential tomorrow. Schaake: "More and more services are digital. In the absence of regulation, internet providers could also block access to certain news or entertainment sites because of their financial interests. If access to competing news platform is hindered, this restricts people´s access to information. In a legal vacuum, we risk a race to the bottom. European net neutrality rules should protect the open internet." Last week, Commissioner Kroes announced she would bring forward a net neutrality proposal, as a part of the single telecom market. "I am very curious what the specific proposal will entail, details are essential. In any case, I am glad that we agree business as usual is no longer an option. Besides restoring fair competition the public interest must not be forgotten." European commissioner Kroes speeches on Marietje Schaake's hearing on net neutrality. Follow the live stream from 9h00 am.