The reform of EU copyright rules has found the legislative process reaching an all-time low, as European politicians are now receiving “serious threats”.

“Heated debate is a vital part of the political process, but organisations and lobby groups need to ensure that this does not cross the line into encouraging harassment,” says the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D) in a statement.

S&D Group president Udo Bullmann said:

“The reform of copyright is a hotly debated topic and one that creates strong feelings on both sides of the argument. This is true across Europe and within our own political family. Passionate debate is an essential part of the political process, however we have to ensure that this does not cross the line. Numerous MEPs have been subject to serious threats in the last few days. This is completely unacceptable. The lobby groups pushing on both sides of the debate need to realise that their actions have consequences. We encourage all those involved to tone down the rhetoric and make sure that threats of physical violence, or even death, are never acceptable.”

Bullman went on to explain that the specific issue has also found MEPs dealing with a lot of inaccurate information alongside the threats:

“There has been a lot of misleading information spread ahead of this vote. We will not accept the level of abuse and intimidation that has been given over the last few days. We will defend the autonomy of the European Parliament and the right of our MEPs to work without being threatened.”