The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the Digital Services Act, As part of the European Digital Strategy. The Digital Services Act package is intended to strengthen the Single Market for digital services and foster innovation and competitiveness of the European online environment. The consultation seeks to gather views, evidence and data from people, businesses, online platforms, academics, civil society and all interested parties to help shape the future rule book for digital services.
Why is the European Commission proposing a new Digital Services Act Package?
The online world and the daily use of digital means are changing every day. Many new ways to communicate, shop or access information online have been developed, and those ways are constantly evolving. Online platforms have brought significant benefits for consumers and innovation, as well as wide-ranging efficiencies in the European Union’s internal market. These online platforms facilitate cross-border trading within and outside the Union and open entirely new business opportunities to a variety of European businesses and traders by facilitating their expansion and access to new markets
The legal framework for digital services has been unchanged since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in the year 2000. Ever since, this Directive has been the foundational cornerstone for regulating digital services in the European Union.
The European Single Market therefore requires a modern legal framework to ensure the safety of users online and to allow innovative digital businesses to grow, while respecting the basic principles underpinning the current legal framework of the e-Commerce Directive.
What is the Digital Services Act package?
The new Digital Services Act package should modernise the current legal framework for digital services with clear rules framing the responsibilities of digital services to address the risks faced by their users and to protect their rights; as well as ex ante rules covering large online platforms acting as gatekeepers, which now set the rules of the game for their users and their competitors. The initiative should ensure that those platforms behave fairly and can be challenged by new entrants and existing competitors, so that consumers have the widest choice and the Single Market remains competitive and open to innovations.
As a part of a robust and active consultation process, the Commission has initiated a public consultation to support the work in analysing and collecting evidence for scoping the specific issues that may require an EU-level intervention. All European and non-European citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. The consultation will be open until 8 September 2020.
Access the consultation survey here.