Ahead of the presentation today of the European Commission's new telecoms regulation 'Connected Continent', Socialists and Democrats expressed their intention to work closely with the Commission and the Council to negotiate the best possible legislation for both consumers and industry.
After a meeting yesterday with the Commissioner for the digital agenda Neelie Kroes, S&D spokesperson on telecoms MEP Catherine Trautmann said:
"The Commission has correctly identified problems in the European telecoms market that need to be urgently addressed. However, we need a thorough analysis of what the best solutions are for such complex and sensitive issues.
"We the Socialists and Democrats want to fight for the consumer-friendly measures the Commission is now proposing – some of which the S&D had already demanded in previous regulations, such as the end of roaming charges – but we also want to make sure that the effects of the whole package on the industry have been fully understood, especially in terms of investment and employment.
"We should not rush into potentially mistaken decisions. This proposal is already too late to create synergies with other flagship initiatives such as Horizon 2020 or the Connecting Europe Facility. This Parliament should not be pushed to accept new legislation without ensuring it is coherent. We must work for genuine simplification, not further complication."
S&D vice-president Patrizia Toia said:
"There is definitely a need to move forward in European digital integration, but it must be done in close co-operation with stakeholders. We will analyse the proposal and see how it corresponds to the S&D Group's priorities, the most important of which are stimulating the economy, overcoming the crisis, boosting the competitiveness of the enterprises in this sector and creating more employment.
"So far the Commission has not presented the proper impact assessments that are crucial for us policymakers. In particular we want an assessment of the social and labour impact of the proposed measures."
S&D spokesperson for industry and research, MEP Teresa Riera, said:
"The timetable is tight before the European elections in May, but there is room to do some serious work. Europe needs a vibrant digital environment and more incentives for innovation and smart growth."