Madrid, 27 February 2014 – Access Info Europe today joined European civil society organisations campaigning for pledges from European Parliament election candidates to support the 10 point Charter of Digital Rights. This campaign is run EDRi, a network of European civil rights organisations defending digital rights.

Between 22 and 25 May 2014, European Parliament elections will take place in 28 Member States. The next five years will be hugely important for digital rights, with legislation expected on copyright, cybercrime, data protection and surveillance. The campaign aims to put digital civil rights issues firmly on the agenda of the election campaigns of all European political parties.

The first point of the Charter is a commitment to support measures that maximise transparency and enable citizens to participate in legislative processes of the EU, through better access to documents (including consultations) in all European languages. The campaign also seeks to ask candidates to pledge to support measures that promote the availability of government data to citizens as well as the usage of open formats and open standards in government.

The campaign has two parts, firstly to get election promises from citizens to vote in favour of digital rights-friendly candidates. Secondly, it seeks to get promises from candidates to respect the Charter, share this promise in social networks and raise their profile as a candidate who is standing up for civil rights. The day before the election, the campaign will publish the list of candidates who have given support to the campaign to enable citizens to vote for digital rights-friendly candidates.

If you are a citizen or an election candidate and wish to sign the Charter, please click here.

The Charter of Digital Rights

I will oppose any measure that removes the power to make decisions on matters that affect European citizen’s fundamental rights from the judiciary or democratically-elected policy-makers, including, but not limited to, any of the points below.

1. I will promote transparency, access to documents and citizen participation
2. I will support data protection and privacy legislation
3. I will defend unrestricted access to the Internet and online Services
4. I will promote an update of copyright legislation
5. I will not support blanket, unchecked surveillance measures
6. I will promote online anonymity and encryption
7. I will not support privatised enforcement outside the rule of law
8. I will support export controls of surveillance and censorship technology
9. I will defend the principle of multistakeholderism
10. I will promote Free software (Open source software)