Brazil is an example for Europe in the field of internet user protection, says vice-president of the European Commission

Photo: Serge Marteaux

Photo: Serge Marteaux

Viviane Reding’s statement was made at EUBrasil’s networking event in Brussels where the head of the Mercosur division’s European External Action Service (EEAS), Adrianus Koetsenruijter, said Mercosur and the European bloc should “exchange engagement rings” now.

The vice president of the European Commission (EC) and Commissioner responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, argues that the European Union (EU) should follow Brazil in relation to safeguarding the rights of internet users. In a speech on Wednesday 11th during the launch of the “Friends of EUBrasil” networking event, organised by the EUBrasil Association in Brussels, Ms Reding said that Brazil and Europe are moving in the same direction and must work together to a level of digital privacy protection.

“In April this year, Brazil has adopted the Civil Marco, a declaration of rights of the internet. The creator of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, says the law will unleash a new era in which the rights of citizens in all countries will be protected by a Digital Rights Charter. I certainly hope that Tim is right. And I hope that the European Union follows Brazil “, said Ms Reding.

The vice president of the EC believes that Brazil and the European Union are aligned in relation to data protection, privacy and electronic eavesdropping, unlike other countries like the United States, negotiating a separate treatment for operators without a guaranteed level of security for individuals.

“The EU and Brazil are strategic partners. We are fighting for the same principles, the same values, which imply a free and open internet, with the individual at its center. On data privacy, as in soccer, we’re playing in the same direction. A team formed by Brazil and Europe can be a winner, “she said.

Negotiations with Mercosur

In his speech, Adrianus Koetsenruijter addressed the lack of outcome in the negotiations between the EU and Brazil into a free trade agreement. According to the head of the EEAS Mercosur division, the two blocks have been dating for 15 years. “It’s time to exchange engagement rings now, so we can have a wedding in the not too distant future”, said Mr Koetsenruijter.

Reinforcing the importance of the negotiations, he advocated a further reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers between the two blocks. “The European Union is negotiating with various partners (TTIP, CETA, Japan, etc.), and we can not leave the important Latin American market behind,” he said.

Mr Koetsenruijter praised the initiative of EUBrasil to multiply the contacts between the EU and Brazil, which should not stay only at government and institutional levels. “A relationship can only work and produce the effects that we hope if we can put two people together; Brazilians and Europeans must know and develop interest in each other, “he said.

Friends of EUBrasil

The networking cocktail “Friends of EUBrasil” was supported by Brazil’s ambassador to Belgium, André Amado, and was attended by Members of the European Parliament (MEP), including Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler and Britta Thomsen, EU representatives, entrepreneurs, diplomats and academics. The goal is to organise new events aimed at boosting commercial projects between the EU and Brazil in the coming years.

“The ‘Friends of EUBrasil’ wants to promote opportunities for decision-makers and senior professionals to meet on a regular basis to exchange information and identify points of interest. We are mapping all major partners in Europe and Brazil that stand in the relationship between economic stakeholders. Our goal is to drive new initiatives and projects in common, “said the president of EUBrasil, Luigi Gambardella.