what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Protecting children in the digital world

As data protection becomes increasingly complex, the average age of European internet users is steadily falling.

At the same time, quality content for young internet users is rare and child pornography poses an additional web-related problem.

Based on these premises, the Commission published a strategy paper on protecting children in the online environment.

Parliament's response focused heavily on legally restricting access to certain websites and introducing other tight constraints.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens argued that internet literacy is the most effective tool for protecting children against abusive web content, whereas legal repression and paternalism could hinder access to unproblematic websites.

At the same time, we support the fight against child pornography and favour high-quality online content.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

The Greens succeeded in securing a somewhat more evenly balanced report by adding amendments on better education and on preventive measures.

We also managed to shift the focus of a paragraph on illegal content from repression to the adoption and subsequent evaluation of measures designed to combat illegal content, enabling police forces to share information.

This result allowed us to abstain in the vote, rather than vote against the report, which we felt was dominated by a paternalistic tone.


Which points did the Greens lose?

The Greens were unable to change the thrust of the report, which still demonises the internet.

We believe such an attitude can too easily have a negative impact on free speech and democratic debate.


Procedure:Own-initiative procedure


Lead MEP:Silvia Costa (S&D)

Green MEP responsible:Malika Benarab-Attou


Staff contact:Frédérique Chabaud (Email)