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+

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: andrus ansip, eu commissioner, eu parliament, gunther oettinger, julia reda, pirate party, questions

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. 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

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.