29 June

CIVILE E COMMERCIALE

Reform of EU legislation on digital services: the EU Commission launches an online public consultation

29/06/2020

On 2 June, the European Commission launched a public consultation for the reform of regulatory framework for digital services (the Digital Services Act Package). This consultation set to expire on 8 September 2020 and all public and private persons will be able to provide their own support in this important initiative.

The consultation follows two lines:

1) the proposed law on digital services, to update the e-commerce directive dating back to 2000, to adapt it to the new and growing needs that the online word imposes. It aims to establish a more effective governance system to ensure the correct application of these rules throughout the EU single market, while respecting fundamental rights;

2) the proposal for a new discipline that can adequately address and overcome the disparity of conditions of access to the European digital market, whose control by a handful of online platforms has created market imbalance by limiting consumer choice and reducing the competitiveness of digital services.

The following issues covered by the consultation are identified as essential for the reform: (i) the safety of online users, to be ensured also with the collection of data relating to illegal activities (e.g. the sale of dangerous and counterfeit products, misleading advertising, etc.); (ii) reform of the liability regime provided for by the e-commerce directive as regards digital services, to define the role and obligations of intermediaries, including those that are based outside of the EU but operate on the internal market; (iii) the gatekeeper role of digital platforms and the function they perform from a privileged market position in filtering news and content; (iv) transparency as regards online advertising; (v) opportunities and difficulties encountered by workers in the provision of services through online platforms, so that health and safety in the workplace can be protected; and (v) the creation of a governance system that ensures the correct application of the rules at a European level, and guarantees the respect of fundamental rights in the single digital market.

Following the consultation, the Commission will work on the reform proposals which will be presented to the EU Parliament and the Council for their evaluation and approval by the end of this year, in following the European legislative procedure (the link to access to consultation is provided below https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12417-Digital-Services-Act-deepening-the-Internal-Market-and-clarifying-responsibilities-for-digital-services).