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Whitepaper: EU Digital Single Market Strategy

  • Text
  • Digital
  • European
  • Regulation
  • Content
  • Noerr
  • Consumers
  • Pillar
  • Directive
  • Businesses
  • Parliament
In May 2015, the European Commission released a Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy as a central priority of its agenda at the beginning of its four-year term. The strategy’s objective is to create an open, interconnected and digital single market and to maximize the positive impact of the digital transformation on European society and on business activity in the EU. To this end, the Commission proposed a wide range of measures in order to create a stable legal environment, stimulate innovation, tackle market fragmentation and allow all players to tap into the new market dynamics under fair conditions.

Pillar 2: Creating the

Pillar 2: Creating the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish ePrivacy Regulation While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – itself not an integral part of the DSM strategy – protects individuals with regard to the processing of personal data, the protection of data in the electronic communications sector is currently governed by the e-Privacy Directive. Services that the Commission considers to be functionally equivalent to electronic communications services, such as so-called over-the top services (e.g. Skype or WhatsApp), are currently not subject to most of the Directive’s provisions however. The Commission therefore proposed the ePrivacy Regulation in order to align the privacy protection regarding electronic communication with the GDPR and to substantially update the current legal framework. Status: Proposed in January 2017; currently being discussed by European Parliament and Council. Impact: Any providers of electronic communications services are affected by the ePrivacy Regulation. Countering illegal content online In order to effectively tackle illegal content online, the Commission issued a Recommendation that sets out clear legal guidance regarding the removal of illegal content. In the Recommendation, the Commission proposes types of processes platforms should put in place in order to speed up detection and removal of illegal material, and thus curb the spread of such content, while also offering a set of robust safeguards. These include: (i) clear ‘notice and action’ procedures; (ii) more efficient tools and proactive technologies; (iii) stronger safeguards to ensure fundamental rights; (iv) special attention to small companies; and (v) closer cooperation with authorities. Status: Adopted on 1 March 2018; Commission will monitor the actions taken in response to the Recommendation and determine whether additional steps, including legislation, will be taken. Impact: The Recommendation is not legally binding, but exerts a degree of political pressure on platforms. As of December 2017, automatic detection tools on some platforms remove 83 % to 98 % of identified terrorist content. Source: EU Commission fact sheet. 10

Pillar 3: Maximizing the growth potential of the Digital Economy European Cloud Initiative European research institutions as well as actors in the private and public sector increasingly rely on integrated high performance computing capability (HPC), high-speed connectivity and cutting-edge data and software services. The Commission therefore launched the European Cloud Initiative to strengthen Europe’s position in data-driven innovation. It proposes actions around three focal points: (i) the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) will provide researchers a virtual environment to store, share and re-use large volumes of data, across borders and disciplines; (ii) the European Data Infrastructure (EDI) will deploy the high-bandwidth networks and HPC capacity necessary to access and process the data in the cloud, in addition to exploring the potential of quantum computing; and (iii) the EDI’s user base is to be gradually enlarged to the public sector and to industry while maintaining a high standard of quality, reliability and trust. Status: Initiative launched in April 2016. Impact: The European Cloud Initiative may affect the competitive environment for any cloud offerings. 21 % of European enterprises buy cloud computing services used over the internet (2016). Source: Eurostat. Free flow of data The Commission proposed a Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data, which aims at removing obstacles to the free movement of non-personal data. The Regulation allows data to be stored and processed anywhere in the EU without unjustified data localization restrictions. Its objective is to disentangle the multitude of national data localization laws and to reduce market fragmentation. Status: Proposed in September 2017; Commission, Council and EU Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on 19 June 2018; revised Directive to be officially adopted in autumn 2018. Impact: The Regulation may affect the competitive environment of the data economy. 11

Whitepaper: EU Digital Single Market Strategy
Public M&A Report H1/2018
Legal issues of digitalisation in Europe