EU issues Digital Single Market concrete actions at leaders’ meeting

EU issues Digital Single Market concrete actions at leaders’ meeting
European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip © Aron Urb (EU2017EE)

The European Commission has issued a series of EU Digital Single Market concrete actions which could make Europe’s digital ambitions a reality by the end of 2018.

EU leaders will hold informal discussions on making the Digital Single Market a reality tomorrow in Sofia, Bulgaria, with the aim of bringing about significant digital transformation across the bloc by the end of 2018. Ahead of this, the European Commission has issued a number of Digital Single Market concrete actions to make this a reality.

The list of actions will also serve to reinforce the protection of citizens’ data, ahead of the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation later this month. The commission seeks to establish a ‘European approach’ to digitisation, where digital innovation is paired with strong data protection rules, in anticipation of an increasingly data-based global economy.

What has the EU recommended?

The concrete actions recommended by the EU to complete the implementation of a functional Digital Single Market include:

  • Mobilising public and private investment to deploy artificial intelligence;
  • Agreeing a regulation on the free flow on non-personal data with co-legislators by June 2018;
  • Finalising the Electronic Communications Code, which aims to boost investment in high-speed, high-quality networks, by June 2018; and
  • Helping member states to equip Europeans with digital skills.

Further, the EU aims to have agreed all pending Digital Single Market proposals before the end of 2018, including the modernisation of EU copyright rules and the ePrivacy Regulation proposed in January 2017.

What has the European Commission said?

European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip stated that the EU has already created the legislative framework for the establishment of the Digital Single Market, and that it is now in the hands of member states to implement the next stages of development.

He explained: “Data is at the heart of our economy and society. It needs to flow freely, to be safe and secure. The European Commission has put forward all the proposals for a Digital Single Market; it is now EU leaders who have the keys to unlock digital opportunities. This new regulatory environment should go hand in hand with major investments in areas such as cybersecurity, 5G, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing.”

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