The European Parliament is preparing to vote next week on a proposal that could potentially criminalise pornography throughout the EU. MEPs will be voting on whether to endorse a report entitled "Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU" tabled by the EU Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, which contains a clause calling for a ban on "all forms of pornography".
Article 17 in the report "calls on the EU and its Member States to take concrete action on its resolution of 16 September 1997 on discrimination against women in advertising, which called for a ban on all forms of pornography in the media and on the advertising of sex tourism".
The clause was spotted by MEP and leader of the Swedish Pirate Party Christian Engström, who wrote about it on his blog. While he said he called the overall goals of the report "very laudable", he pointed out that it threatened civil liberties on the internet.
"This is quite clearly yet another attempt to get the internet service providers to start policing what citizens do on the internet, not by legislation, but by ”self-regulation”," he wrote.