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AIG Newsletter 8 February 2023

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IMCO, LIBE, and JURI committee's adoption of Data Act opinions 

On 24 January, the EP JURI and IMCO Committees adopted their opinions on the Data Act (here and here). These focused on increasing the amount of data available for public actors, and regarding governance, JURI created a new ’data coordinator’ post in each EUMS. IMCO also brought to attention the issue of functional equivalence, stressing that consumers should always have the right to decide when to switch between providers, and that the cloud services should be able operate without needless obstacles.  

The LIBE Committee then adopted its Opinion on 31 January – to note LIBE has exclusive competences on numerous articles concerning the protection of personal data and fundamental rights. LIBE focused primarily on data access for third parties, access for public authorities, contractual relationships, holistic data, legal clarity for data minimisation and safeguards against reidentification.  

The AIG co-signed an industry-coalition letter (coordinated by FEDMA) ahead of the vote to call for the Data Act to be better aligned with the GDPR.

Joint Statement by Vice-President Jourová and Commissioner Reynders on Data Protection Day 

In light of Data Protection Day, VP Jourová and Commissioner Reynders released a joint statement on 28 January, which underlines the crucial role of European data protection laws, both within the EU and around the world. The statement also highlighted the EU’s important achievements in 2022, ranging from the finalisation of the negotiations between the EU and the US on a new Data Privacy Framework, to the adoption of the DSA/DMA, as well as praising the role of DPAs and stressing the importance of the continuation of the digitialisation process.


IMCO debate on draft Opinion on the AVMSD Implementation  

On 6 February, the IMCO Committee held a meeting to discuss their amendments on the Implementation of the AVMSD. The following subjects were stressed: the fragmentation of the market, geo-blocking, slow implementation of the directive in the member states, selling data of minors, access to digital services for persons with disabilities, and LGBT rights. 

They debated amendments that had been tabled by MEPs. AIG sent MEPs in IMCO a list of its concerns, urging them to oppose amendments which called for statutory legislation on HFSS food advertising, undermining the existing and effective self-/co-regulatory framework.


Council and Commission statements: Presentation of the programme of activities of the Swedish Presidency   

The Swedish Presidency gave a presentation of its programme of activities during the EP plenary session on 17 January. Swedish PM, Ulf Kristersson delivered a speech where he highlighted his country’s goal to make Europe greener, safer and freer, in addition to outlining Sweden’s four priorities: (i) promoting Europe’s security through its support for Ukraine; (ii) supporting the green transition; (iii) ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the EU; and (iv) finally, upholding the EU’s core values.  

From the Parliament, the EPP’s MEP Webber stressed the need for reform of EU Competition law, whilst the S&D’s MEP Pérez stressed the need to protect vulnerable businesses from economic pressures, and called for a stronger commitment to effective action on climate change. Renew wanted progress on the Migration and Asylum package, to strengthen the single market by prioritising innovation, and to impose sanctions on Iran. Greens/EFA Group expressed concerns on the direction towards which the Swedish government would choose to lead the legislative work, especially on migration, pesticides and the green transition.  

The pressure posed by migration and the need to protect EU borders were at the core of the ID and ECR Representatives’ speeches, whereas the Left Group highlighted its concerns on the geo- and political trend followed by the Swedish Government.