The digital revolution: media freedom and online rights

Access to information and the internet are changing our world and the S&D Group believe we should manage this change for the benefit of citizens. The digital revolution offers opportunities for Europe’s jobs and industry, but also for an open, creative and inclusive society.

Media freedom and diversity

Citizens’ access to information depends on media freedom and diversity. The Socialists and Democrats have led the fight against those right-wing governments which have tried to limit freedom of expression. We want common European standards and policies to guarantee media freedom, as well as EU intervention when media freedom and pluralism are under threat in an EU member state.

Rights and freedom online

The internet should remain a place of freedom. We reject attempts to curb this freedom through measures like forcing internet service providers to install systems for filtering electronic communications.  Copyright laws should consider competing sets of rights and strike a fair balance between rights for citizens and industry, access to information and culture, and fair rewards for creators. While we defend internet users’ freedoms, we also support proper protection for intellectual property and measures to tackle counterfeit goods.  Copyright rules must also cope with rapidly shifting technologies and support new economic models.

Education for innovation and digital inclusion

IT skills and education are a priority for the S&D Group. Technology and access to information – especially in scientific and technological fields – are becoming ever more crucial for our decisions as workers, voters, citizens, investors and consumers. Democracy itself depends on citizens’ access to such knowledge.  In most EU countries there is still a digital divide based on income, education, gender, age or region. We can do better than this and want to see improvements in online participation, online rights and social inclusion.