Pirate Party Launches Site For Public To Put Questions To New EU Commissioners Responsible For Internet Policy
from the give-it-a-go dept
There's a new set of top politicians coming in to form the European Commission, one of the three bodies that run the European Union. Next week, the European Parliament -- another of those three bodies -- gets to grill them on their suitability. It's largely theater, since rejecting a Commissioner-designate is pretty heavy, and rarely happens. Still, if nothing else, it's a chance to put embarrassing questions to people who will soon be powerful and hard to call to account. Sadly, though, it's not something that the public can participate in. The Pirate Party's newly-elected Member of the European Parliament, Julia Reda, wants to change that, and has created a site called "What would you ask?". Here's the explanation:
From September 29 to October 7th, the European Parliament gets to vet the designated members of the EU Commission: The people who will be drafting laws for 500 million people for the next five years. I believe: The people of Europe should also be allowed to ask questions!
That's why I'm asking YOU: If you had the chance, what would you ask the Commissioners responsible for internet policy?
There are two Commissioners involved: Andrus Ansip, Designated Vice President for the Digital Single Market, who oversees the breaking-down of borders between EU member states on the Internet, and Günther Oettinger, Designated Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, responsible for the telecom sector, copyright, start-ups, e-government, security, Internet governance, and the European Commission's own computing services. Rather worryingly, Ansip was an unabashed supporter of ACTA when it was being pushed through a couple of years ago, while questions have been raised about Oettinger's experience and understanding of the digital world.
I will forward the top-voted questions to the Commissioners and ask them to reply. But please note: Since as an individual MEP even I have very limited opportunity to ask questions, I cannot promise I will be able to pose these questions in the actual committee hearing.
Still, given that previously the public had precisely zero opportunity to pose questions to these people, even a small chance is worth taking.