Priorities and programme
Finland has published its Presidency Programme. Its priorities are to strengthen common values and the rule of law, to make the EU more competitive and socially inclusive, to strengthen the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action and to protect the security of citizens comprehensively.
Finland will be the first presidency to integrate the new priorities of the Strategic Agenda 2019–2024 into the Council's work. Finland’s Presidency programme can be found here.
Finnish Presidency circulates a document to Member States asking for views on the e-Privacy Regulation ahead of WP TELE Meeting on 4 July
To continue discussions on the e-Privacy regulation proposal, the Finnish Presidency has asked Member States for their views to feed in to a discussion on a way forward at the WP TELE meeting on 4 July.
Other agenda items for the meeting include a presentation by the Presidency on the Finnish Presidency Programme, a presentation on the Commission priorities, the Digital Europe programme and the Digital Innovation and Scale-up initiative.
Commission takes stock of first year of GDPR implementation at high level event
On 13 June, The European Commission organised an event to mark the first year of implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The event addressed three main topics: how effective enforcement is; data protection as a business opportunity; and how individuals use their new rights. Representatives of data protection authorities, the European Data Protection Board, business and civil society assessed how the GDPR has been working so far and what the practical implications are for the businesses and society.
The Commission is expected to report on the application of the GDPR in 2020.
EU reports on progress in fighting disinformation
On 14 June, the European Commission and the EU’s High Representative published a joint communication which provides a first assessment on how the EU’s Action Plan against Disinformation and the Elections Package have helped to fight disinformation and preserve the integrity of the European Parliament elections.
The Communication was also intended to feed into the discussions on protecting elections and fighting disinformation by heads of state and government at the European Council summit on 20-21 June which may set the course for further policy action. The same day, the Commission also published the last intermediate results of the EU Code of Practice against disinformation, together with the Google, Facebook and Twitter May reports.
The following week, on 20-21 June, the European Council met, with the EU heads of state and government discussing disinformation and hybrid threats and calling for sustained efforts to raise awareness, increase preparedness and strengthen the resilience of our democracies to disinformation.
Council adopts new rules introducing transparency obligations for online platforms
On 14 June, the Council announced the adoption of the EU’s Platforms-to-Business (P2B) Regulation, which aims to provide businesses with a more transparent, fair and predictable online business environment, as well as an efficient system for seeking redress. The full text is available here.
Online platform intermediaries will be required to make their standard terms and conditions more transparent, easily available and also announce changes well in advance. The terms and conditions must state the reasons of suspending or terminating a business’ account and include a description of, inter alia, the type of data that will be shared with business users by the online intermediation service.
Online advertising is excluded from the Regulation, as well as payment services, search engine optimisation and services that connect hardware and applications that do not intermediate direct transactions between businesses and consumers. The Commission is expected to encourage platforms to set up bodies of independent specialised mediators, draw up codes of conduct and regularly assess the functioning of the new rules.
Commission publishes results of 2019 Digital Economy and Society Index
The European Commission published the 2019 results of the annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), drawing upon Eurostat data to assess Europe’s overall digital performance and competitiveness. The progress towards a digital economy and society was measured through five dimensions, namely: connectivity to broadband, human capital, use of internet, integration of digital technology and digital public services.
The yearly report is also aimed to help EU countries identify areas requiring priority investment and action. The study found that all Member States had improved their DESI index score over the past year, but more than one third of citizens in the active labour force continue to lack basic digital skills, despite the increasing amount of jobs that require digital knowledge.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
10 July: The EU’s budget after 2020 – Relaunching the discussion after the EU elections, Hanns Seidel Foundation
15 July: Media innovation with the help of artificial intelligence, Eyes & Ears of Europe
26 September: AIG Meeting, EASA Office, Brussels, 14:00 - 15:00
2 October: AIG Directors’ Lunch, Stanhope Hotel, Brussels, 12:30 - 14:30