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IRIS 2018-7:1/9

European Commission

Communication on completing a trusted Digital Single Market for all

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Svetlana Yakovleva

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam & De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

The Communication of the European Commission (Commission) on completing a trusted Digital Single Market (DSM) takes stock of the work done on the implementation of the European DSM Strategy, which was published on 6 May 2015 (see IRIS 2015-6/3). In the Communication, the Commission provides an overview of the legislative proposals it has made over the last three years, reviews the progress of their adoption and implementation, and calls on its co-legislators - the European Parliament and the Council - to accelerate their work in order to meet the European Council’s goal of concluding the DSM Strategy by the end of 2018.

Since the mid-term review of the DSM Strategy in May 2017 (see IRIS 2017-7/7), both the Commission and its co-legislators have made further progress towards its realisation. The Commission has delivered all 29 essential legislative proposals; the co-legislators have adopted 12 of those proposals (see, for example, IRIS 2018-4/7, IRIS 2017-7/6 and IRIS 2017-9/4) - 11 of them since the mid-term review of the. Although more progress has been made since last year, more than half of the Commission’s proposals are still pending adoption; among them are the copyright proposals (see IRIS 2016-9/4), the amended Audiovisual Media Services Directive (see IRIS 2016-6/3), the Regulation on copyright and online transmissions of broadcasters (See IRIS 2018-1/10), the ePrivacy Regulation (see IRIS 2017-3/6), and the Electronic Communications Code (see IRIS 2016-10/4).

Besides the focus on the swift completion of the DSM by the end of 2018, the Communication draws specific attention to several issues. Firstly, the Commission praises the new European personal data protection regime introduced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has been directly applicable throughout the EU since 25 May 2018. Highlighting the role of the GDPR in building confidence in the digital economy and its strategic importance as “the global norm setter on data protection”, the Commission requests EU member states to facilitate its immediate and direct application. Furthermore, the Commission urges its co-legislators to agree on the Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data and on the Electronic Communications Code by June 2018, and to expedite their work on the ePrivacy Regulation with a view to its adoption by the end of 2018. Secondly, the Communication stresses the importance of putting the right environment in place for the growth of the DSM in the future. The Commission draws specific attention to the regulation of social networks and digital platforms, especially when it comes to enhancing the transparency and fact-checking of digital content and measures effectively tackling illegal content online. In addition, it showcases its recently presented Data Package, addressing the issue of the reuse of private data for public purposes, and a framework to allow Europe to maximise the benefits of Artificial Intelligence. Last but not least, the Commission acknowledges that regulation alone will not make the EU a leader in the digital economy. Public and private investments in data, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing, as well as bridging the gaps in skills and digital connectivity, are essential in order to reap the benefits of the global data economy.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Completing a trusted Digital Single Market for all, 15 May 2018, COM(2018) 320 final EN
Annex to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, 15 May 2018, COM(2018) 320 final EN