Parliament hosts inter-institutional talks on cyber threats to European elections
On 16 April, the European Parliament hosted representatives from the Council and the Commission at its Plenary session in Strasbourg to discuss the current state of play of EU actions on protecting the integrity of the upcoming European elections from international threats to cybersecurity.
Almost all the political groups of the European Parliament agreed on the importance of ensuring the integrity of the European elections through adoption of any kind of appropriate measures. They referenced threats from Russia and stressed that additional measures and increased cooperation among member states are necessary. A full overview is available here.
The debate concluded that further efforts will be necessary to continue after these elections, so the European Council in June will consider a report prepared by the Romanian Presidency, the Commission and the High Representative, and will be looking ahead through lessons learnt and a strategy for the future.
Third monthly intermediate results of the EU Code of Practice against disinformation
On 23 April, the European Commission published the reports by Facebook, Google and Twitter covering the progress on fighting disinformation, in line with the commitments made by these online platforms as signatories to the Code of Practice against disinformation. A summary of the key findings can be found here.
The online platforms will continue to report monthly on their actions to tackle disinformation until the European Parliament elections in May 2019, and the Commission will carry out an assessment of the Code's initial 12-month period by the end of 2019. Should the results prove unsatisfactory, the Commission has announced that it may propose further actions, including of a regulatory nature.
OPEN INTERNET ACCESS REGULATION
Commission publishes results of study on the implementation of the Open Internet access Regulation
On 30 April, the European Commission published the results of a study prepared for its Directorate General on Communications Networks, Content & Technology on the implementation of the Open Internet access Regulation 2015/2120. The study analysed the regulatory decisions and court cases in all EU Member States plus Norway to check the Open Internet access practices in each country. An executive summary is available here.
It should be noted that this study fed into the Commission’s report on the implementation of the Regulation on Open Internet Access, published the same day, where it is concluded that the Regulation’s principles “are appropriate in light of the development of the market and that they are effective in protecting the end-user and promoting the internet as an innovation engine”. In line with the study, the report also suggests that there is no need to amend the Regulation at this stage.
The Commission will continue monitoring the developments in the market while working closely with BEREC and is expected to issue a new report in four years’ time. BEREC in turn has begun its work on updating its Guidelines and plans to deliver in 2019.
Commission makes recommendations for the EU's next strategic agenda 2019-2024
On April 30, the European Commission published“Europe in May 2019: Preparing for a more united, stronger, and more democratic Union in an increasingly uncertain world”– a contribution to the informal E27 leaders’ meetingin Sibiu on 9 May, where EU leaders reflect on past and future steps to ensure that the EU delivers to its citizens. The EU’s strategic agenda for 2019-2024 will include measures to upgrade and modernise the Single Market, with increased focus on research and innovation, and more investment in Europe's digital capacities. The agenda will continue work on the European Labour Market, through the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Commission also proposes more focus on a sustainable Europe by promoting green growth, bio-economy and sustainable innovations.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
14 May: Exploring the Privacy and Data Protection connection: International Workshop on the Legal Notions of Privacy and Data Protection in EU Law in a Rapidly Changing World, LSTS & Brussels Privacy Hub
24 May: GDPR Salon 2019
27 June: AIG Meeting, Austrian Perm Rep, 12:00 – 14:00
2 October: AIG Directors’ Lunch, Stanhope Hotel, Brussels