An EU social media police is not the way to go

We have all seen it; hateful statements flourish on the Internet, on reputable news sites as well as in murky discussion forums. Hate speech is an old phenomenon, but it seems the Internet has greased the joints of those who seek to use speech to incite hatred. Online hate speech again made the headlines when Liberal Commissioner Věra Jourová on 1 October called for Member States to criminalize hate speech, upholding the EU framework decision on fighting racism and xenophobia. Only days later a young and dynamic panel met for a Transatlantic Dialogue Luncheon to discuss online hate speech organized by FNF and the AJC Transatlantic Institute. Is the criminalization of hate speech the way to also combat it online, or are there other tools at our disposal? Do we need an EU social media police?
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Upcoming event: “Online Hate Speech – Do we need a social media police?”

picTuesday, 6 October 2015

Venue: Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung for Freedom
Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels

About the event

How do we stop hate speech and fear mongering online? Is self-discipline and active website moderation not enough to stop extremists from inciting hatred, defamation and violence? With anti-Semitism, xenophobia and all-out racism flourishing in the dark allies of the World Wide Web, is it time for the EU to enforce the rules already on the books in virtual space? Could an “EU social media police” stop online hate speech, and what implications would it carry for the right to free speech? Can EU legislation keep up the pace with cyber hate mongers and what is the responsibility of everyday web surfers? In short – do we need EU law enforcement for Facebook and other social media channels in an otherwise borderless web? Continue reading

Upcoming Event: “Beyond Buzzwords: How will TTIP affect our everyday lives?”

TTIP_1_web The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the AJC Transatlantic Institute cordially invite you to their next Transatlantic Dialogue Luncheon:

“Beyond Buzzwords: How will TTIP affect our everyday lives?”

Thursday, 28 May

Venue: Renaissance Hotel, Rue du Parnasse 19, 1050 Brussels

About the event
Discussions on TTIP have focused on highly specialized issues or revolved around very broad topics such as the setting of global standards for trade. Yet, TTIP will likely affect many different aspects of our everyday life: what kind of medicine we take, which cosmetics we use, and how much we shop online in stores across the Atlantic. All this will also influence business opportunities and change the reality of business owners. Not everyone will be a winner, and prognoses foresee that some groups and some countries will gain more than others should an agreement be reached. Continue reading

Shale gas in Europe – potential gains and risks and its implications on foreign policy

IMG_5978Security, affordability and sustainability are the three pillars epitomizing the European Commission’s current political priority on energy. Taken into account the European strive for diversification of the Union’s energy supply, the US shale gas revolution has been subject to heated debates on whether this form of unconventional extraction could be a potential option for reaching Europe’s ambitious energy goals.

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The EU and US: Heirs to a Struggle for Freedom – shaping a joint future

IMG_2591How quickly the world turns, how quickly our priorities shift. A few weeks ago it seemed like the US-EU summit would be overshadowed by the dissonance the NSA affair has instilled in the transatlantic partnership. With the ghost of the Cold-War past materializing, clutching the Crimea in an icy grasp, chocking the aspirations for self-determination of many Ukrainians, the tone at the EU-US summit on 26 March was one of mutual reassurance. Dr. Stefanie Babst, Head of Strategic Analysis Capabilities, NATO; Peter Chase, Vice President Europe at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Thomas E. Reott, Economic Counselor at the U.S. Mission followed the invitation of the FNF Europe and the AJC Transatlantic Institute to discuss the outcomes of the EU-US Summit: perspectives on how the transatlantic partners should react to the crisis in the Crimea and an outlook on the next step in the TTIP negotiations. Continue reading

Upcoming event: President Obama’s Tour d’Europe: Partners in times of crisis?” on 1 April, 12h

flickr.com_robb montgomeryTuesday, 1 April 2014
Venue: Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71,  1000 Brussels

In late March, the US President’s embarks on an official tour d’Europe for meetings with the European institutions and NATO. The EU-US summit hosted by Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso, Presidents of the European Council and European Commission will be the first since 2011. Lately the transatlantic relationship has been disharmonious.  In light of the recent developments in the Crimea, the renewed talks with Iran and ongoing the civil war in Syria, it is high time for the transatlantic partners to find common ground and develop a joint and coherent approach. Considering these foreign policy issues – will TTIP be pushed to the sidelines in the summit? Will Obama be able to assuage European concerns over the safety of their data? And what can be expected of Edward Snowden, whose visa will expire just months before the critical midterm elections?

Find the complete invitation here. Please register by 31 March.

Fotocredit: flickr.com_robb montgomery