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The hunt for the basis of a connected continent

Many people have probably noticed I take issue with the Commission's proposal for a Connected Continent. Choosing the strictest tool available to the Union harmonization endeavours, a regulation, the Commission proposes a wide range of wild proposals which completely over-turn most telecommunications decisions made by the European Parliament in the 7th legislature up until this point, and fails to protect net neutrality by calling for something which can only be interpreted as a Return of the Minitel. We just closed down the last terminals in France two years ago, why reconstruct this entity now?

Put forward last year (2013) in September, the large and over-turning proposal came right before the election campaign. Commissioner Kroes had ensured that roaming was part of the proposal, in order to make members of parliament scared to run into bad press in the election campaigns. To prepare the proposal she had done what appears to be "not much".

So I made the following request for access to documents on February 21st 2014:

Gestdem 2014/972 - all documents which the European Commission considers part of the stakeholder consultation materials for the Connected Continent proposal.

The Commission kindly replied on March 18th 2014, which is four days later than they had promised me a reply (March 14th, 2014) but we can let this slip. (:-)). They replied that they did not understand which specific documents I was requesting. The problem is that the Commission had no formal public stakeholder consultation leading up to the Connected Continent proposal, and they also say this in their impact assessment. That means we only have a record of BEUC, a number of companies or industry groups from the telecommunications and communications sector as well as "investors" providing input to proposals that appear to have been already at the table at the time of feedback-gathering.

I sent them a note clarifying which documents were sought with reference to the impact assessment on March 21st 2014. Now I have to wait 15 working days, presumably. To be continued....


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