S&Ds lead push for a 'connected' European Union and 5G internet by 2020

Positive first step from the Commission on copyright, portability and contract reform, Joe Weidenholzer, S&D Vice-President for the Digital Union, Evelyn Regner, S&D MEP Evelyne Gebhardt,

The European Parliament this week approved an agreement to make the 700 MHz band frequency available for internet use paving the way for 5G internet by 2020. The Parliament also backed two other reports on Europe’s digital future – on big data and e-democracy.

S&D vice-president responsible for digital affairs, Josef Weidenholzer said:

“From big data to e-democracy these reports show why we need more than just a digital single market. We need policies that will shape the digital world and promote connected innovation, which is accessible, safe and trustworthy. We want as many Europeans as possible to participate in this. An inclusive digital union where no one is left behind.”

S&D MEP Patricia Toia, author of the report on the 700 MHz frequency, said:

“Thanks to the S&D Group, Parliament today will approve measures that will help boost the European economy. The efficient use of the radio spectrum is vital for the connected world in which we live. The European Union can now guarantee a fair and efficient use for spectrum in order to address the needs of both mobile and broadcasting services. High-quality mobile internet will be available for everything and for everyone, everywhere. This proposal will open up the use of spectrum infrastructure and will give operators a chance to deploy 5G in a rapid and timely way. The efficient use of the radio spectrum is vital for the connected world in which we live.”

S&D MEP Ana Gomes, author of the report on the implications of big data, said:

“We are in the midst of a data revolution. Ever greater amounts of our personal data are in the hands of private and public entities. This can give us an unprecedented insight into human behaviour offering benefits and opportunities for citizens, businesses and governments. However, there are also clear dangers. If we want to ensure trust in big data then it is essential that data protection laws are fully enforced and the strongest scientific and ethical standards are respected.”

S&D MEP Ramón Jáuregui, author of the report on e-democracy, stressed:

“Digital technologies offer great potential to improve democratic participation and promote a more active and transparent citizenship as long as all citizens are involved, the digital divide is overcome and the internet is safe and secure.  Electronic voting presents great possibilities to increase active citizenship but authorities must ensure citizens’ personal data and privacy is protected. Also we need to guarantee the protection of fundamental rights in the application of these digital tools.”