Tech & Rights

Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament Votes Against ​Free Speech

The Legal Affairs Committee members ignored the emails of over 30,000 EU citizens and pushed ahead with a regulation that could change the internet as we know it.

by György Folk

Today, 20 June, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) approved the anti-free speech version of Article 13 of the draft Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. The adopted version imposes several restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of information, in ways that clearly violate the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

“If EU legislation conflicts with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, we can expect such a law to be annulled by the Court of Justice. This is what happened with the Data Retention Directive, when EU legislators ignored compatibility problems with the Charter, says Eva Simon, advocacy officer at Liberties.

The vote by the Legal Affairs Committee is likely to be the European Parliament’s official position in its negotiations with EU member states to find a compromise solution, unless dissenting lawmakers force a vote at the general assembly next month.

The fight will continue

The next milestone is the debate in the plenary session of the European Parliament, in early July. Liberties will continue fighting against Article 13 and try to convince members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to vote for an amended version of Article 13 - one that has proper safeguards to protect our fundamental rights.

MEP Julia Reda, a member of the Greens/EFA group, told the press after the vote, "I will challenge this outcome and request a vote in the European Parliament next month."

Read all of our related articles on copyright here.

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