HomeInsightsEuropean Commission publishes mid-term review of its Digital Single Market Strategy

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The review takes stock of progress made and calls on co-legislators to act swiftly on all proposals. It also outlines three main areas where further action is needed: (i) the data economy; (ii) cyber security; and (iii) online platforms.

Since May 2015, the European Commission says that it has delivered 35 legislative proposals and policy initiatives as announced in its Digital Single Market Strategy. The focus is now on obtaining political agreement with the European Parliament and the Council on all proposals, above all the updated EU telecoms rules, which will boost investments in high-speed and quality networks, and which are critical for the full deployment of the digital economy.

On the data economy, the Commission says that it is preparing a legislative initiative on the cross-border free flow of non-personal data (Autumn 2017) and an initiative on the accessibility and reuse of public and publicly funded data (Spring 2018). In addition, the Commission will continue its work on liability and other emerging data issues.

On cyber security, by September 2017, the Commission says that it will review the EU Cyber Security Strategy and the mandate of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), to align it to the new EU-wide framework on cyber security. The Commission will also work to propose additional measures on cyber security standards, certification and labelling to make connected objects more cyber secure.

In the area of online platforms, by the end of 2017, the Commission says that it will prepare an initiative to address unfair contractual clauses and trading practices identified in platform-to-business relationships. The Commission has developed several dialogues with online platforms within the Digital Single Market (e.g. the EU Internet Forum, the Code of Conduct on illegal online hate speech, and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Sale of Counterfeit Goods over the internet) and plans to coordinate these better. One of the aims, the Commission says, is to move forward with the procedural aspects and principles on the removal of illegal content (notice and action) based on transparency and protecting fundamental rights.

In addition, the Commission addresses the need for further investment in digital infrastructure and technologies in areas where investment needs to go far beyond the capacity of single Member States, such as high-performance computing. To read the Commission’s press release in full and for a link to the review, click here.