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What does the new EU Parliament mean for tech?

Jennifer Baker | May 27, 2014
Pirates out, digital rights to the fore

Meanwhile questions are being asked about which MEPs will sit on which Parliamentary committees and how that will affect tech policy. Along with copyright reform, the new Parliament will also have to negotiate a new data protection regulation and a new telecom package, which comprises rules on roaming charges. This could prove a challenge for privacy advocates and those who support measures to ensure low roaming charges, as many member states, in particular the U.K., want to water down current rules.

But industry insiders say it is too early to predict what will happen. "It is very hard to tell at this stage. I hope the new Parliament will continue to focus on data protection and the telecoms package," said Afke Schaart, director of EU Institutional relations at Microsoft, on Monday.

Vendor lobby groups Software Alliance and BSA welcomed the incoming MEPs and highlighted the issues the new Parliamentarians will have to tackle.

"Decisions taken by the new Parliament on key dossiers in the coming term, such as Europe's data protection rules and trade secrets, will determine whether data-enabled technologies are able to deliver a much-needed boost to jobs and economic growth across every European member state," said BSA President Victoria Espinel.

Negotiations on committee positions are likely to start next week, but member state support for a new Commission president will certainly take more time.


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