Making Digital Single Market unleash its full potential
The Commission calls for swift adoption of key proposals and maps out challenges ahead
13 May, 2017
Having reached the middle of its mandate, the Commission published last Wednesday the mid-term review of its Digital Single Market strategy. It takes stock of the progress made, calls on co-legislators to swiftly act on all proposals already presented, and outlines further actions on online platforms, data economy and cybersecurity.
Since May 2015, the Commission has delivered 35 legislative proposals and policy initiatives on its Digital Single Market strategy and the focus is now on obtaining political agreement with the Parliament and the Council on all proposals, above all the updated EU telecoms rules, which are critical for the full deployment of the digital economy and society.
“The Commission has lived up to its promise and presented all main initiatives for building a Digital Single Market. Now, the European Parliament and Member States need to adopt these proposals as soon as possible, for new jobs, business and innovation to take off across Europe,” VP Andrus Ansip said. In the communication the Commission has identified three main areas where further EU action is needed: developing the European Data Economy to its full potential; protecting Europe's assets by tackling cybersecurity challenges; and promoting the online platforms as responsible players of a fair internet ecosystem.
The Review maps out the way ahead in three key areas. On the data economy, the Commission is preparing a legislative initiative on the cross-border free flow of non-personal data and an initiative on accessibility and reuse of public and publicly funded data. The first will be tables by autumn, and the other will be ready by spring 2018. In addition, the Commission will continue its work on liability and other emerging data issues.
In cybersecurity, the Commission will review by September the EU Cybersecurity Strategy and the mandate of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), to align it to the new EU-wide framework on cybersecurity. The Commission will also work to propose additional measures on cybersecurity standards, certification and labelling to make connected objects more cyber secure.
In the area of online platforms, the Commission will prepare by year-end an initiative to address unfair contractual clauses and trading practices identified in platform-to-business relationships and has also taken recent competition enforcement decisions related to this. The Commission has developed several dialogues with online platforms within the Digital Single Market and plans to coordinate them better.
In addition, the Commission addresses the need for further investment in digital infrastructure and technologies in areas where investment needs to go far beyond the capacity of single Member States, such as high-performance computing. According to a new Eurobarometer survey, released last Wednesday, two-thirds of Europeans think that the use of the most recent digital technologies has a positive impact on society, the economy and their own lives.