At the end of February, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) postponed the vote on the European Commission’s single market for telecommunications package containing the EU’s first ever proposed net neutrality legislation proposal. The vote has been rescheduled to the week of the 17th of March consequently tightening the deadline for an adoption in plenary before the European May 2014 elections.
MEPs of the industry, research and energy committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament responsible for drafting the report have decided not to vote on the package due to procedural issues, specifically because of the non-translation into English of some amendments to the text. Some say it is simply a manoeuvre to delay the vote on controversial aspects of the Regulation proposal such as net neutrality. The ITRE committee has rescheduled the vote to the week of the 17th of March leaving only a short time frame to reach a first reading agreement by the European Parliament plenary before the next European elections and therefore to set a binding European Parliament position for the new upcoming legislature. A delay in the vote also means postposing the trialogue discussions between the European Commission, Parliament and Council who have to find a common agreement on the final version of the regulation.