[Advocacy Advisors] EU Policy Monintoring Report - January

Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov dimitar.parvanov.dimitrov at gmail.com
Wed Jan 29 08:59:10 UTC 2014

Wikimedia and the EU

January Report

Welcome to 2014!

We're expecting a really busy first quarter in Brussels and then some peace
and quiet around the European Parliament elections in May. Great
opportunity to get one's homework done.



Just one more week to go until the Copyright Consultation by the Commission
closes. At the same time the data protection reform has officially been
postponed for the next legislative period. Surprisingly, the network
neutrality dossier is moving along at a steady pace.

This and past reports at


1. Copyright Consultation

2. Committee Vote on the EU Single Market for Electronic Communications

3. EU Data Protection Regulation Delayed


#copyright #reform

1. EU Commission Copyright Consultation

Why is this relevant?

Consultations by the European Commission are usually the first step along a
windy path leading up to a legislation proposal. The current Copyright
Consultation [1] is, and this is rare, asking all the right questions. This
includes points that directly concern the public domain in general and key
issues for the Free Knowledge movement - like Freedom of Panorama and
Orphan Works - in particular.

What happened?

On behalf of Wikimedia, we have decided to make two parallel but distinct
efforts to produce answers for the consultation. Participants in the Free
Knowledge Advocacy Group EU [2] prepared an answering guide in a more
intimate work group. [3] These answers are meant to be used by European
chapters, individuals and third parties.

Simultaneously, the consultation was wikified and presented on Meta-Wiki,
[4] where everybody worldwide was given the opportunity to contribute
answers. The final version of these responses is meant to be submitted by
the Wikimedia Foundation, but can of course also be used by anybody else.

Although separate, the two strategies were meant to complement each other.
The huge overlap and compatibility of the results prove that this was
indeed the case. We were simply unsure what would work best and decided to
test the pros and cons of both methods.

What comes next?

The submission deadline is 5.02.2014. It usually takes the Commission a few
months to analyse the responses and organise an event where the results are
presented and the next steps in the legislation procedure are announced.

Meanwhile, we're planning to analyse our working methods at the Wikimedia
Conference [5] in Berlin (10-13.04) and at a EU policy strategy meeting in
Brussels (tbc, 25-27.04).


#NN #ConnectedContinent

2. EP Committee Vote on EU Single Market for Electronic Communications

Why is this relevant?

The European Commission proposed a new "Connected Continent" package [6],
which also deals with the issue of what kind of services ISPs may provide.
The apple of discord is whether the proposed "specialised services",
allowing telecoms to offer higher speeds to websites and services willing
to pay extra for it, constitute a breach of the "net neutrality" principle
or not. Network neutrality is the idea that all data on the internet should
be equally treated by intermediaries.

What happened?

The Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) passed
several amendments in its report to better define the proposed "specialised
services", thereby closing several possible loopholes [7] that would have
effectively lead to a two-speeds internet.

What comes next?

There are two more EP Committees to vote on this dossier in February -
Civil Liberties (LIBE) and Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). [8]
Especially the latter one might take a significantly different position
from the amendments adopted by IMCO. ITRE and IMCO are the leading
Committees on this dossier



3. Data Protection Regulation Delayed Until After EP Elections

Why is this relevant?

The European Union is trying to update its data protection rules. The new
framework would also define what data online service providers (including
websites like Wikipedia) would be allowed to collect and how they would
have to process it.

What happened?

A number of Member States (UK, Hungary, Denmark, Slovenia, Germany, Belgium
and Sweden) are hindering the approval of the current proposal. While
Germany is simply trying to delay the entire process claiming the proposed
text falls short of its current legislation, the UK is pushing to degrade
the Regulation to a Directive. This means that the dossier is effectively
blocked and needs to be re-negotiated between the European Parliament and
the Council (i.e. Member States).

A Directive would give Member States some room to include local
interpretations into the data protection framework, thereby reducing
harmonisation and, most likely, user protection.

What comes next?

As the European Parliament elections are going to be held in May 2014, this
effectively means that new legislation before the end of this year is not
very likely to pass.

Further reading: [9][10]











-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/advocacy_advisors/attachments/20140129/feada342/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Advocacy_Advisors mailing list