The European Parliament today passed new regulations that will ensure that Europeans who buy or subscribe to online content services are able to access them when they travel in other EU countries. Services like Netflix and Spotify will now be obliged to enable cross-border portability of their services for subscribers traveling within the European Union.
This must be the first of multiple steps towards abolishing digital borders in Europe, not the last, several interest groups today demand in an open letter to the EU institutions.
The letter is signed by representatives of language minorities, students, startup companies and European federalists, as well as co-chairs of two related intergroups in the European Parliament, Josep-Maria Terricabras, co-chair of the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages, and myself, as co-chair of the Digital Agenda Intergroup.
The letter states:
Geoblocking is discrimination. It undermines the development of a common European public sphere. Tweet this!
Geoblocking locks audiences out from much of Europe’s cultural diversity and locks artists into national borders. It is especially painful for speakers of minority languages, and negatively affects expat workers, exchange students, language learners, startup companies and many more.
The measures currently planned fall far short of making the error “This content is not available in your country” a thing of the past where Europeans most encounter it: When trying to access online video content.
Abolishing physical borders between member states has always been a core purpose of the European Union. On the internet, there is even less justification for artificially created geographical barriers. We must follow through with abolishing geoblocking in the EU to further the European project and complete the Digital Single Market.
- Davyth Hicks, Director, Eurolang & European Language Equality Network
- Christopher Glück, President, JEF/Young European Federalists
- Réka Salamon, President, AEGEE-Europe/European Student’s Forum
- Lenard Koschwitz, Director Public Policy, Allied for Startups
- Stavriana Kofteros, Co-founder European Startup Network, Special Entrepreneurship & Growth Adviser Democratic Rally (EPP family)
- Josep-Maria Terricabras, MEP and Co-chair of the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages in the European Parliament
- Julia Reda, MEP and Co-chair of the Digital Agenda Intergroup in the European Parliament
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