Global Politics, Law and International Relations
Edited by Ben Wagner, Matthias C. Kettemann and Kilian Vieth
Chapter 9: Access to the Internet in the EU: a policy priority, a fundamental, a human right or a concern for eGovernment?
While some suggest that access to the Internet is a human right, in the EU, Internet access is primarily an economic concern. In light of the European Commission Communication ‘Connectivity for a Competitive Digital Single Market: Towards a Gigabit Society’, this chapter challenges the current EU approach to Internet regulation and questions whether a human rights-based approach to Internet access would be a better fit. After outlining the relevant regulatory provisions governing access to the Internet in the EU and its Member States (section 3), the chapter reflects on the EU vision of the Gigabit Society (section 4). Then, the chapter discusses Member States obligations with regard to Internet access (section 5) and explores three scenarios under which the right to access the Internet could be recognized as a fundamental right in the EU (section 6). The authors gather that the EU primary law provides for several options to recognize access to the Internet as a fundamental right. The authors point out that while a consensus among European countries to recognize Internet access as a fundamental right in domestic regulatory frameworks is emerging (section 7), policy-makers should carefully consider the scope (section 8) and limitations that could be imposed on this right (section 10). The authors suggest that to some extent the widespread application of eGovernment could strengthen, or even facilitate, the introduction of the right to Internet access in the EU (section 9). The authors conclude that recognition of Internet access as a fundamental right would be valuable as it would encourage policy- and law-makers, as well as civil society, to reconsider the scope and limitations imposed on this right.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.