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.

Reda adds:

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.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 25 Sep 2014 @ 4:49am

    I suspect this will be largely ignored by our wise rulers. But maybe if the noise is annoying enough they'll turn their heads and acknowledge there's something up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2014 @ 5:17am

    You have the right to forget about that site.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2014 @ 6:22am

    I think that I will give even that a shot, since previous commenters indicates that it will be pointless =P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Case, 25 Sep 2014 @ 9:29am

    Last stirrings of the dead

    The German Pirate Party is dead and mostly forgotten, victim of internal bickering and entryism by various radicals (mostly left-wingers, somewhat ironic given their initial problems were mostly about the usual far-right nutters leaping on every new party) in Berlin and elsewhere. We're in the middle of the biggest surveillance leak in history, and the only thing of notice they produced were naked tits with "thank you Bomber Harris" painted on and endless byzantine games by the leadership.

    A single MEP of a dead party wants to ask questions in an extremely inconsequential meeting...a desperate PR stunt with zero political impact, better spend your time with something productive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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