European quango set to take up Net tax issue

Net taxation comes under the spotlight as the European Parliament sets up its Internet Foundation
Written by Jane Wakefield, Contributor

An e-policy think tank was created in the European Parliament on Monday to look at the issue of Internet taxation.

The new organisation, dubbed the European Internet Foundation, will look at current Internet issues, including the possibility of tax. Other issues it will discuss include access costs, privacy and consumer choice.

Relationships between industry and the European Parliament have not always been good. For instance, proposed changes to copyright law came in for heavy criticism. The think tank is intended to create a better relationship between parliamentarians and industry.

So far, around 50 MEPs have signed up. One of these, Tory MEP Jonathan Evans, confirms that Internet taxation will be high on the agenda of the new body, but claims it is too early to know what form the legislation will take.

Evans suggested that there may be another agenda behind the quango. "So far most of the interface between parliamentarians and business has been through the lobby system. This gives us back the whip hand. We will set the agenda, rather than business," he said.

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