Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

What are we voting on?

As if the governing procedures of the EU weren't complex enough, journalists seem to be unsure of what the real issue is.
  1. Can you identify who drafted the legislation the MEPs voted on?
  2. Can you hypothesize who lobbied on these issues?
  3. Which issue, net neutrality or roaming charges, do you think the MEPs thought was most important? Why?
  4. Who is going to write the regulations that will implement the new law?
  5. Why will places like the Netherlands have to change their laws now?
  6. Is there a court that could interpret this law for specific cases?
European Union Parliament
Mobile phones: Data roaming charges will be abolished
The ban on data roaming charges from 15 June 2017 has received a final green light in the European Parliament.

Roaming charges are added by mobile operators for calls, texts and internet browsing when phone users are abroad.

An interim cap on charges will take effect from 30 April next year, prior to the full ban across the EU…

Some 665 MEPs voted in favour of the deal…

From 15 June 2017, users within the EU will be charged the same as they would in their home country.

Critics of the ban suggest the loss of revenue for mobile phone companies could push up prices in general, including prices for non-travellers…

European Parliament votes against net neutrality amendments
The European Parliament has voted against a set of rules intended to safeguard "net neutrality" in the EU.

A series of amendments to a regulation on how internet traffic is managed in Europe were all rejected by MEPs.

Proponents of net neutrality, who demand that web traffic be treated equally by networks, have already criticised the move.

The existing legislation, which was accepted, will be developed into regulations…

The Body of European Regulators (BEREC) would now have nine months to issue guidelines to bodies like Ofcom [Office or Ministry of Communications] in the UK, he added…

Besides a host of net neutrality campaigners, inventor of the world wide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee had added his voice to those supporting the amendments…

And a string of tech companies signed a letter to the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, asking MEPs to adopt the amendments.

The firms included Netflix, Tumblr, Vimeo, Kickstarter and Reddit…

Interestingly, three countries within the EU - Netherlands, Slovenia and Finland - already have a range of net neutrality rules enshrined in law.

These laws might have to be altered depending on how the new, EU-wide rules are interpreted by regulators later…

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