Today, the European Parliament adopted for the first time and by a very large majority a digital trade strategy. Its Members, representing all political groups apart from the extremes, call for international trade rules to deliver tangible benefits for consumers, to dismantle the digital obstacles faced by European companies in third countries and to promote worldwide respect for fundamental rights. To this end, they ask for the inclusion in the EU’s trade agreements of rock-solid provisions in line with EU law, in particular on personal data protection, forced data localisation, net neutrality, roaming and intellectual property.
“We want to make sure our vanguardist European standards are fully safeguarded and relentlessly promoted in the bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral trade agreements the European Commission negotiates.
We want to set international trade rules that both prohibit unjustified localisation requirements abroad and safeguard our data protection legislation at home. Nothing less, nothing more!
We want to shape globalisation and digitalisation to address the legitimate concerns citizens have and the protectionist barriers SMEs face in the telecommunications sector. Based on the overarching principle of a free, open and secure Internet, our recommendations aim at restoring trust and fair competition, creating jobs and projecting values at the same time.
We want to be standard-makers today not to become standard-takers tomorrow. Faced with conflicting visions and competing interests at global level, the European Union must take the lead as soon as possible to set state-of-the-art digital standards globally.”