Posts Tagged ‘European Commission’

EU set to unveil neutral net neutrality plans

April 19, 2011 Comments off

The European Commission will unveil proposals to foster a neutral and competitive Internet on Tuesday (19 April), drawing praise from big industry for its cautiousness while consumer groups and activists lament its lack of substance. 


Tim Berners Lee, often dubbed ‘the father of the Web’, ranks among the high-profile personalities to have publicly lobbied for regulation to mandate the neutrality of the Internet. However, others have argued that regulation is unnecessary and would threaten innovation.

At the heart of the issue is whether access to Internet services or content should be controlled and filtered rather than left free and provided according to the principle of ‘best effort’.

This principle implies that no provider can prioritise traffic on the Net for economic reasons. Instead, every user should be served with the providers’ ‘best effort’. This criterion has seen derogations in order to allow more professional use of the Internet. Therefore, a business user willing to pay more gets a faster and better connection.

However, extending this concept to many more users would run the risk of the majority getting such a poor service that it will prevent them from using the Internet. The borders between the two needs are currently being defined, and are subject to technological and regulatory developments.

The issue of net neutrality was first debated in the US a while ago, and is now generating intense debate in Brussels. It was also included in the EU’s review of telecoms rules (EurActiv 12/06/09).

While the US has long since passed legislation to ensure an open Internet, the EU has been struggling to catch up.

In a draft proposal seen by EurActiv, the European Commission does its homework on possible infringements of net neutrality but prefers to adopt a Read more…

EU to ban cars from cities by 2050

March 29, 2011 1 comment


EU to ban cars from cities by 2050 

Top of the EU’s list to cut climate change emissions is a target of ‘zero’ for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU’s future cities Photo: ALAMY

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a “single European transport area” aimed at enforcing “a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers” by 2050.

The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.

Top of the EU’s list to cut climate change emissions is a target of “zero” for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU’s future cities.

Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of Read more…

Scientists warn of ‘dangerous over-reliance’ on GPS

March 9, 2011 Comments off


LONDON — Developed nations have become “dangerously over-reliant” on satellite navigation systems such as GPS, which could break down or be attacked with devastating results, British engineers said Tuesday.

The Royal Academy of Engineering said the application of the technology was now so broad — from car sat-navs to the time stamp on financial transactions — that without adequate backup, any disruption could have a major impact.

It cited a recent European Commission study showing that six Read more…

Why the World Must Watch Europe

March 2, 2011 Comments off

Beyond the EU Debt Crisis

The continent’s financial crisis gave rise to bailouts, infighting and demands for sweeping financial reform. Could there still be a bright future over the horizon for the European Union?


Amid the shift in global superpowers, two names come up as heavyweight world championship opponents: China and the United States.

The constant media exposure and speculation could be likened to a pay-per-view boxing matchup.

In one corner: the world’s largest energy consumer—with a 1.3-billion-strong population—endlessly stockpiling natural resources—and holding nearly $900 billion in United States’ debt.

In the other: longtime democratic world champion—largest economy—and leader in manufacturing.

China is the clear favorite, but the U.S. is still in the running. On its way down from unmatched superpower, it is still a formidable opponent, with its manufacturing sector out-producing China by 40 percent.

Yet America is weighed down by a $14 trillion federal debt and rampant Read more…

Britain’s coming crunch with Europe

February 18, 2011 Comments off

Fraser Nelson

It did not take David Cameron long to realize that there were three parties in his coalition. A few months into government, the Prime Minister worked out that only half of the policies he was enacting came from the shared agenda drawn up when the Tories and LibDems got together. The other half comes from the EU. Or, more specifically, the Civil Service machine, which is busy implementing various EU Directives, often passed many years ago. Cameron is trying to put the brakes on this process.

As I say in my News of the World column, this has led to much frustration in Whitehall. And dismay: the Civil Service remembers how easily Labour waved through EU regulation and the piles of fat that Whitehall likes to pile on top of the EU regulation. Labour would claim that the EU rules were actually its idea, so as not to lose face. Only in government is it clear how far power has slipped; Cameron wants to claw it back.

Oliver Letwin has been tasked with stopping Whitehall from being a breeding ground for new regulations. Cameron jokingly refers to Letwin as a ‘contraceptive’, because it’s his job to stop these regulations being conceived – usually after a little European foreplay. It’s a huge task. The problem is that Read more…