Future European Commissioner Günther Oettinger refuses to answer on Free Software

Paris, October 1st, 2014. Press release.

In the course of his hearing by the European Parliament, Günther Oettinger, the EU Commissioner-designate for Economy and Digital Society, deliberately refused to answer an MP's question on Free Software.

As part of the new Commission's setup procedure, each EU Commissioner-designate takes part in a hearing before the Parliament's committees in charge of overseeing the portfolio that is untrusted to him/her. On Monday, September 29th, the EU Commissioner-designate for Economy and Digital Society, Günther Oettinger, mainly talked about economy and expressed little concern for citizens' rights [fr].

On the matter of Free Software, European MP Cornelia Ernst had asked Günther Oettinger (on behalf of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left) what measures he plans to take to favour the expansion of Free Software (watch the video from 00:12:25 on). The Commissioner-designate did not even deign to answer the MP regarding this question in particular.

“During his hearing, Commissioner-designate Oettinger opened the door to a two-tier internet and he shamefully refused to answer a question about the expansion of Free Software. April is appalled at Gunter Oettinger's disagreeable attitude toward MP Cornelia Ernst and his statements on net neutrality. If the Parliament doesn't dismiss Günther Oettinger, we will need to remain mobilized during the European legislature and defend the fundamental rights in the digital age” said Frédéric Couchet, April's executive director.

About April

A pioneer of Free Software in France since 1996, April is a major player in the democratisation of Free Software and open standards, and in their spread to the general public, professionals and institutions of the French-speaking world. In the digital era that is ours, it also aims to inform the public on the dangers of an exclusive appropriation of information and knowledge by private interests.

The organisation is a non-profit and it has over 4,000 members, who use or produce Free Software.

For more information, you may visit http://www.april.org/, contact us by phone at +33 1 78 76 92 80, or use our contact form.

Press contacts:

Frédéric Couchet, Executive Director, fcouchet@april.org +33 6 60 68 89 31

Jeanne Tadeusz, Public Affairs Officer, jtadeusz@april.org +33 1 78 76 92 82