Plenary speech: Preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online

There is no place for terrorism, neither in offline nor in online world.  We all agree to that and therefore the negotiations between EU institutions focused on how this was to be achieved. I am happy that after a year and a half of negotiations, we were able to reach a political agreement that strengthens our security while safeguarding fundamental rights and freedoms.  

I would like to recognize the work of our Rapporteur but also all other parliamentary colleagues. Together we have made many important changes so that today we can be clear, that the Regulation will increase the effectiveness of current measures to detect, identify and remove terrorist content online without encroaching on fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression and information.

We worked hard to improve cooperation between Member States and make the removal of terrorist content online legally watertight. 

I would like to highlight some aspects.  

Firstly, as to cross-border removal orders, competent authorities in the member states will have the ability to remove terrorist content but with a number of important safeguards. Member state authorities where the hosting provider is located will be involved in the removal process from the beginning and have the final word on removing content. If the host member state authority decides to object then the content has to be restored.

Secondly, we have ensured that the agreement will not include any obligation to use automated filtering and technical measures cannot be imposed on service providers.

Thirdly, educational, journalistic, artistic or research content will be protected

Fourthly, service providers will not be penalised if there are objective technical and operational reasons for not being able to take down content in one hour

And finally, to prevent non relevant content from being taken down, terrorist content is now strictly defined across the EU (as material and information that incites, encourages or advocates the commission or contribution to terrorist offences, provides instructions for the commission of such offences or promotes the participation in activities of a terrorist group)

Today I can say that I am pleased with the final outcome and can strongly support the final text adopted today.

I would also like to thank Commissioner and the Presidencies that were involved in the negotiations. Thank you!

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