Europe fit for the Digital Age: European Commission proposes new rules for digital platforms
The European Commission proposed an ambitious reform of the digital space, a comprehensive set of new rules for all digital services, including social media, online market places, and other online platforms that operate in the European Union: the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. Under the Digital Services Act, binding EU-wide obligations will apply to all digital services that connect consumers to goods, services, or content, including new procedures for faster removal of illegal content as well as comprehensive protection for users' fundamental rights online. The new framework will rebalance the rights and responsibilities of users, intermediary platforms, and public authorities and is based on European values - including the respect of human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. The proposal complements the European Democracy Action Plan aiming at making democracies more resilient. Platforms that reach more than 10% of the EU's population (45 million users) are considered systemic in nature, and are subject not only to specific obligations to control their own risks, but also to a new oversight structure. This new accountability framework will be comprised of a board of national Digital Services Coordinators, with special powers for the Commission in supervising very large platforms including the ability to sanction them directly.
The Digital Markets Act builds on the horizontal Platform to Business Regulation, on the findings of the EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy, and on the Commission's extensive experience in dealing with online markets through competition law enforcement. In particular, it sets out harmonised rules defining and prohibiting those unfair practices by gatekeepers and providing an enforcement mechanism based on market investigations. The same mechanism will ensure that the obligations set out in the regulation are kept up-to-date in the constantly evolving digital reality.
Europe fit for the Digital Age: Commission proposes new rules for digital platforms