[Advocacy Advisors] EU Policy Monitoring Report - September

Dimitar Dimitrov dimitar.dimitrov at wikimedia.de
Tue Oct 1 09:49:42 UTC 2013

Salut la liste!

We’re back in full swing and reporting live from Brussels. In this episode
the Commission has finally published its proposal for a net neutrality
regulation. Simultaneously the data protection discussion has successfully
melted into the surveillance debate, which in its turn has produced more
hashtags than one can possibly follow.


Past editions on Meta: <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/EU_policy>


Tere is a chance that the General Data Protection Directive will be
negotiated behind closed doors. The Commission has tabled its proposal for
a network neutrality regulation, including a “specialised services”
permission. We at the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group are writing up a
mission statement.


1. Surveillance and Data Protection

2. Net Neutrality

3. Revision of the PSI Directive


5. EU Launches OER Initiative

6. Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU - Drafting the Mission Statement

7. Open Policy Network by Creative Commons


#EUdataP <http://piratepad.net/ep/search?query=EUdataP>
#SMART <http://piratepad.net/ep/search?query=SMART>
#Prism <http://piratepad.net/ep/search?query=Prism>
#GCHQ <http://piratepad.net/ep/search?query=GCHQ>

1.Surveillance and Data Protection

Why is this relevant?

Well, its not a core issue of ours. Still, privacy is fundamental to
intellectual knowledge and parts of our community have formulated worries
that our servers and software might be susceptible to mass surveillance. At
the same time both the Wikimedia Foundation [1] and Wikimedia Deutschland
[2] have had official reactions on these issues. It is part of the future
of the internet.

What happened?

While the Data Protection Regulation debate was slowly dying out, the PRISM
affair knocked it right out of its sleep. [3]  The Civil  Liberties
 Committee of the European  Parliament is holding series of inquiry
meetings on electronic mass surveillance [4][5] and published a report by
Caspar Bowden on the effects of NSA surveillance on EU citizens’ rights
[6a][6b], while at the same time Edward Snowden was officially nominated
and later shortlisted for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
[7a][7b] given each year by the EP.

Meanwhile a number of prominent civil society organisation signed a
resolution against massive eavesdropping in Europe [8a] and both, the Safe
Harbour (personal data exchange between EU-US) [9]  and the SWIFT (exchange
of banking data) [8b] agreements were put into question by the EP and EC

While all of this has been going on, the only actual work done on the
General Data Protection Regulation is probably the Wikipedia article, which
now looks presentable. [10] One notable exception is Article 42, which was
reinserted after news broke out. This amendment prohibits access to
personal data in the EU where required by a non-EU court without the prior
authorisation of the EU Data Protection Authority. [27]

What comes next?

The mass electronic surveillance frenzy has not yet resulted in major
content changes when it comes to data protection, yet. Given the appeal and
loose connectedness between the two topics it is however to be expected
that at least some of the stakeholders will push this argument.

It is likely that the Committee will have a vote on the  Parliament version
in October.[11] Until then there will be debate over whether the trilogue -
a discussion meeting between the Parliament, Council and Commission -
should be informal. An informal trilogue would mean that the three parties
would try to negotiate a compromise behind closed doors ahead of the first
reading. [12] The earliest possible plenary vote seems to be in March 2014.


#netneutrality <http://piratepad.net/ep/search?query=NSA>

2. Net Neutrality

Why is this relevant?

It is a fundamental internet issue. The new draft regulation by the
European Commission proposes to explicitly allow “specialised services”,
without defining them too narrowly. This would allow content providers to
pay telecoms for zero-charge or faster delivery of their services to the
end user. If the Parliament and Council agree to knock these passages out,
all preferential content delivery might be disallowed. So far this is more
likely to happen in the Parliament. Specialised services would have
implication on the relative place of our projects on the internet.

What happened?

Commissioner Kroes presented the new draft regulation [13] which came under
immediate fire from her fellow Commissioner Reding (Justice). [14] The
latter sees the provision allowing “specialised services” as a threat to
freedom of speech, as the resulting traffic management would become
“discriminatory”. While the brouhaha is settling and the Commission
received questions and critique from across the board (e.g. [15]), some
MEPs already took the lead and invited to round-table talks. [16] It is to
be expected that the European Parliament, that has long been calling for a
net neutrality regulation, will decisively change the tabled text,
especially articles 2., 19. and 23..

Another source for chitter-chatter is the decision of Commissioner Kroes to
pack network neutrality into the much wider telecoms package, which also
regulates roaming charges. It seem like the no-roaming-fees pre-election
publicity is being traded off against actual net neutrality.

What comes next?

It is most likely that this Dossier will be taken over by the next
Parliament after the elections in 2014. The next steps would be to assign
parliamentary committees and rapporteurs. [17]



3. Revision of PSI Directive

Why is this relevant?

In very rough terms, the PSI directive is meant to encourage, authorise and
enable the reuse of such information by anyone for both commercial and
non-commercial purposes. It does not contain a clause to force releasing of
content for such purpose without financial compensation, it rather gives a
set of rules how an institution from the public sector can calculate costs
that can be burdened on the re-user.

What happened?

Directive 2013/37/EU (a.k.a. Directive on the Re-use of Public Sector
Information) [18] revises the 10 year old directive on public sector
information. This rather broad term relates to basically all information
created, maintained or stored by public administration and many public
(even cultural) institutions. EU member states are given until July 2015 to
revise the adoptions into national law.

What comes next?

The next two years will be crucial in implementing the revised
PSI-directive. This implementation could result in standard licenses and
overall avoidance on paywalls  or in a highly fragmented manner with
multiple, complex and contradicting licenses and barriers to obtaining

The European Commission is hosting a hearing  on this implementation in
November following the consultation. [19] Both, WMDE and the Wikimedian in
Brussels are going to participate.



4. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement

Why is this relevant?

Frankly, we aren’t sure yet. Still, there is still a very real chance the
final agreement will contain a chapter on intellectual property.

What happened?

A first Civil Society Dialogue organised by the European Commission took
place back in July. [20] The information round, intended to ensure more
transparency, didn’t provide any specific information about the discussed
content. Here are a few statements by the EC that give us a hint about what
lies ahead of us:

-With TTIP, EU & US are aiming to *set new global standards*

-Not just a  run-off-the-mill trade agreement

-Negotiations will not be used to *lower*  regulation

What comes next?

As with previous international negotiations, transparency won’t be a
priority for the EU or US, but managing to receive early information about
the  intended, legally binding texts will be crucial.

Current timeline expectations:

-According to EU officials, the Commission will probably publish a call for
tender on TTIP sustainability assessment

-Text will be published "as soon  as it is agreed - or perhaps once it is
sufficiently stabilised, but  not in the coming months" (statement by
Levie, Deputy Chief Negotiator for EU)

-A public stakeholder briefing on second round TTIP negotiations  will take
place in October

Further links:

EU Portal on TTIP [21]

Agenda according to MEP Marietje Schaake (ALDE, NL) [22]



5. EU Launches OER Initiative

Why is this relevant?

Wikipedia and Wikisource have active OER communities [23] [24] that have
been following and actively participating in the development in such
initiatives and policy change relating to Open Educational Resources.

What happened?

The European Commission has launched [25] a new educational portal [26]
allowing schools and universities to find and share Open Educational
Resources. The standard licensing is CC-by, making it compatible with our
projects, although other licenses are accepted as well.

What comes next?

Once the database is sufficiently populated, it could become a valuable
resource (both citations and source documents) for our projects. Future
cooperations are not unthinkable.



6. Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU - Drafting our Mission Statement

In order to better define our three main policy goals and to be able to
refer people to a “founding document” when they ask what we’re doing, we’re
in the process of drafting something like a policy mission statement for
our group. It has not been adopted by anyone yet and is really just an open
document trying to define and refine ideas. Please don’t hesitate to
comment or edit, as we’re grateful for any piece of advice.




7. Open Policy Network

Our friends at Creative Commons have constituted an Open Policy Network
which wants to work on adopting and implementing open policies around the
world. If that’s your cup of tea, I was assured Wikimedians are more than

































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