EU: Regulation on terrorist content online - Council position paper for discussions with European Parliament


Statewatch is publishing a Council document setting out the German Presidency's thoughts and proposals on the proposed Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. The Council and Parliament are currently holding secret "trilogue" discussions and it is expected that the text of the Regulation - which contains some highly-controversial measures, for example on automated filtering of uploads - will be agreed soon. Member states have been applying renewed pressure on the EP to finalise the rules, following terrorist attacks in Paris and Austria.

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NOTE from: Presidency to: Permanent Representatives Committee: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online - preparation of the trilogue (12618/20, LIMITE, 9 November 2020, pdf, bold emphasis added):

"1. The purpose of the present note is to seek guidance for the preparation of the upcoming sixth political trilogue with the European Parliament (EP) on the proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online (TCO). It is the intent of the Presidency to agree on the proposal before the end of the year. Recent years' terrorist attacks, including those committed during the past weeks, show how important it is to combat terrorism via the Internet and radicalisation through terrorist content online: It is high time to adopt the draft Regulation more than two years after the proposal was submitted, following the call from the European Council of June 2018 for legislation to improve the detection and removal of content inciting hatred and to commit terrorist acts.

2. The Presidency is aware of the tight timeframe but relies on Members States' commitment to finalise this very important file. In order to find an agreement with the Parliament, the Presidency provides this state of play and submits the issues identified below for examination and discussion by COREPER, with the caveat that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed". The Presidency invites delegations to give their views and give guidance for further negotiations with Parliament, while encouraging them to show flexibility in order to  reach the aim to conclude the negotiations rapidly."

Statewatch, along with a number of other civil society organisations, recently signed an open letter calling for the Council and EP to make a number of amendments to the proposal, in order to uphold civil liberties and fundamental rights, and ensure the rule of law.

See: Open letter on behalf of civil society groups regarding the proposal for a Regulation on Terrorist Content Online (10 November 2020)

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