On 15 December, European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and Commissioner Thierry Breton unveiled two of the most awaited initiatives of 2020, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. Both initiatives are a key element of the European Digital Strategy and aim to foster a safer digital space and protect citizens’ fundamental rights online, as well as create a level playing field in which digital businesses can compete globally while pushing for greater technological independence.
Digital Services Act
Aimed at ensuring a safe and accountable online environment for citizens, businesses and platforms, the Digital Services Act (DSA) provides a new series of obligations to the providers of digital services, while protecting consumers and fundamental rights online and establishing accountability and transparency in a more open digital market.
The DSA includes measures to counter illegal content online and prevent abuse of very large online platforms, new rules on traceability of business users and the creation of a new European Board for Digital Services to address the complexity of the online space.
Digital Markets Act
With the goal of addressing the negative consequences of certain digital platforms impacting the internal market, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) introduces a series of rules to prevent these “gatekeepers” from imposing unfair conditions on businesses and consumers while ensuring the openness of digital services.
“The two proposals serve one purpose: to make sure that we, as users, have access to a wide choice of safe products and services online. And that businesses operating in Europe can freely and fairly compete online just as they do offline. This is one world. We should be able to do our shopping in a safe manner and trust the news we read. Because what is illegal offline is equally illegal online”, Executive Vice-President Vestager underlined.
“With today's proposals, we are organising our digital space for the next decades. With harmonised rules, ex ante obligations, better oversight, speedy enforcement, and deterrent sanctions, we will ensure that anyone offering and using digital services in Europe benefits from security, trust, innovation and business opportunities”, Commissioner Breton said.
As Liberals, we are convinced that Europe needs to embrace the digital revolution. To this end, we must ensure the protection of consumers’ rights and online safety, while establishing clearer, more harmonised and stricter rules for online platforms, including for those located outside the EU that provide services to European consumers. We warmly welcome and support this initiative, as it represents a strong commitment from the EU to protect our common future.
The European Parliament and the Member States will discuss both proposals in the ordinary legislative procedure.
Today #DigitalServicesAct & #DigitalMarketsAct create the rules of the road for all digital drivers across Europe🚦Short (very short) version of our 2 proposals explained below ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/SvVcKmYyri— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) December 15, 2020