Digital Technology in EU Foreign Policy
Internet access plays such an important role in our everyday lives that several EU Member States have identified it as a fundamental right.
The European Commission agrees that the right to internet access should be added to the so-called Copenhagen criteria determining a country's eligibility to accede to the EU.
The Arab Spring showed how crucial internet access can be for political change. A strategy on internet access would therefore help European foreign policy.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens strongly oppose the practising of double standards by European information technology companies abroad, which must respect human rights everywhere.
EU companies that violate human rights abroad should be excluded from European public procurement procedures.
Instead of the development of information technology in conflict regions being used to spy on citizens, it should serve to strengthen civil society. Moreover, European companies should not provide technical IT support to authoritarian regimes.
Artistic freedom and the freedom to imitate and reuse must be recognised.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens succeeded in prompting Parliament to demand that companies violating human rights in third countries should be excluded from European public procurement procedures.
We also received majority support for our amendment calling on European companies not to provide technical IT support to authoritarian regimes and managed to ensure that the EU's Digital Freedom Strategy recognises artistic freedom and the freedom to imitate and reuse.
Which points did the Greens lose?
In general, the Greens were satisfied with the result.
Since Parliament's opinion on foreign affairs is not legally binding, conflict over issues in this domain is rare.
Lead MEP:Marietje Schaake (ALDE)
Green MEP responsible:Indrek Tarand
Staff contact:Paolo Bergamaschi (Email)
Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?