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Communications Minister Lindén disappointed with the European Parliament’s decision on the telecoms reform

Communications Minister Lindén disappointed with the European Parliament’s decision on the telecoms reform

Press release 13.05.2009 15.39 fi en

Ms Suvi Lindén, Finland's Minister of Communications, is disappointed with the result of the so-called telecoms reform package in the European Parliament. At a vote on 6 May the Parliament rejected the package that had been prepared for a long time.

"As a result of the vote the matter will be submitted to the conciliation procedure, and the final result remains to be seen. This is unfortunate, because the package includes several reforms aiming to improve the user's position", she says.

In the final stages of the negotiations the issue of limiting the fundamental rights of the users became problematic.

The European Parliament wanted to phrase the Directive so that limitations to users' fundamental rights would only be possible by a prior decision of a court of law. Apparently the result of the vote is based on a national legislative project pending in France about copyright protection.

"I am not totally convinced that the European Parliament assessed the impacts of the proposal from a broader perspective than just copyrights", Minister Lindén criticises.

However, the amendment proposal adopted by the Parliament would apply to all fundamental rights, not just copyright issues.

"Electronic communications involves many situations where limitations to fundamental rights can be considered acceptable. These include measures taken to correct faults and disruptions, to filter spam or viruses, or to prevent unauthorised use of information systems, and other information security measures that are already covered by specific legal provisions in Finland and elsewhere in Europe", Minister Lindén says.

If the Parliament's proposal is adopted, all these would require a prior consent from a court of law. Finland and other Member States do not see this as an appropriate or efficient practice.

"I am also disappointed that the Parliament did not subject the carefully prepared compromise proposal to vote", she says.


Further information:

Mr Juhapekka Ristola, Director of Communications Networks, tel. +358 9 160 28348, +358 400 788 530
Mr Olli-Pekka Rantala, Senior Adviser, Communications Networks, tel. +358 9 160 28585, +358 50 344 3400