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AIG Newsletter 30 May 2022

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Data Governance Act approved in Council 

On 16 May, the Council of the EU approved the Data Governance Act (DGA), which defined the rules for trading data, and set conditions for the international access to and transfer of non-personal data. The Commission could now adopt adequacy decisions declaring that specific non-EU countries provide appropriate safeguards for the use of non-personal data transferred from the EU. 

The DGA also facilitated data altruism, making it easier for individuals and companies to make data voluntarily available for the common good, as well as establishing the European Data Innovation Board. This would advise the Commission on enhancing the interoperability of data intermediation services and issuing guidelines on how to facilitate the development of data spaces. The DGA would now need to be signed by the Presidents of the EP and the Council. The Act will enter into force 20 days after publication, and would apply 15 months after this.


MEPs discussed main achievements of DMA and DSA  

On 18 May, the EP IMCO Committee held a hearing with Cedric O, French Secretary of State, to discuss the achievements of the recent DSA and DMA agreements. It was stated that the new rules for the digital sector would defend European values, democracy, and fundamental rights online. The DMA included competition rules and gave the Commission stronger sanctioning tools. The DSA aimed to increase advertisement transparency and protections for minors online, whilst limiting user profiling and data collection. It would also hold online marketplaces accountable, with increased access to the algorithms used. The proposals are not expected to fully apply before 2024.  

The IMCO Committee also debated the impact of the DSA and DMA with Facebook whistle-blower Frances Haugen. The discussions focussed on how the DSA could set the global benchmark for regulating online platforms in the future. This was a key talking point for the IMCO Committee’s visit to Silicon Valley, where MEPs spoke directly with tech companies, local authorities and academics.

Parliament approves "Path to the Digital Decade" policy programme 

On 17 May, the EP ITRE Committee voted to adopt the report on the “Path to the Digital decade” programme, approving the mandate to open negotiations with the Council. The “Path to the Digital Decade” plan set EU-wide digital targets to be achieved by 2030. Some of the specific goals of the policy programme included: 

  • Ensuring that 80 % of the population aged 16-74 has at least basic digital skills; 
  • Deploying 10.000 climate neutral highly secure edge nodes; 
  • Bringing at least 75 % of European enterprises to use cloud computing services, big data and AI; 
  • Ensuring that more than 90 % of European SMEs should have reached at least a basic level of digital intensity; and 
  • Securing that democratic life and public services are fully accessible online for everyone, and that all EU citizens have access to their medical e-records by 2030.

Consumer protection: Stronger consumer rules enter info force, fit for the digital age 

28 May marks the date of entry into application of the Better enforcement and modernisation Directive (adopted Nov 2019). These rules updated the instruments available to address the challenges of digital markets, and equip consumers/competent authorities with stronger tools to enforce their rights. More information can be found here and here

The Commission continued its work to ensure that the legislation is fit for the future and gives equal protection to consumers. Interested stakeholders can provide feedback on the Fitness Check of EU consumer law on digital fairness until 14 June. The Commission has also published a study on "dark patterns". 


Commission refers 5 Member States to Court over incompliance with Audio-visual Media Services Directive 

Following the latest review of the AVMSD in 2018, the Directive set EU-wide media content standards for all audio-visual media, with new rules to reinforce the protection of viewers. This particularly focused on the safety of minors, with extended rules on illegal and harmful content to VSPs. The AVMSD also introduced additional independence requirements for national media regulators.  

On 19 May, the European Commission announced its decision to refer five EUMS (Czech Rep, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain) to the CJEU over the failure to transpose the revised AVMSD. The Commission explained that due to the delay, citizens and businesses in these MS may not be able to rely on all of the provisions of the AVMSD. An explanation of the infringement procedure can be found here.


31 May: Should large digital content platforms pay for the usage of networks?, PubAffairs Bruxelles.  

14 June: The Digital Enterprise Show.

14 June: Green ICT - How can the digital sector accelerate the green transition?, EURACTIV and GIGAEurope. 

16 June: The Future of Data Protection: Effective Enforcement in the Digital World, EDPS.

20 June: Annual Summer Summit, DIGITALEUROPE.

21 June: The Digital Assembly, The French Presidency.

21 June: EU Artificial Intelligence Act: potential impact beyond high-risk applications, The European Internet Forum.