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Digital Single Market Overview

13.06.2016

On 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The Strategy is built on three pillars:

       - Better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across Europe;

       - Creating the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish; and

       - Maximising the growth potential of the European Digital Economy.

As part of the Strategy, the Commission presented 16 actions set to be executed during years the 2015-2016. A brief overview of the situation halfway through 2016 follows:

 

Actions

Current status

Pillar 1: Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe

Legislative proposals for simple and effective cross-border contract rules for consumers and businesses

On 9 December 2015, the Commission published a draft Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content (e.g. streaming music), available here, and a draft Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods (e.g. buying clothes online) available here.

Review Regulation No. 2006/2004  of 27 October 2004 on Consumer Protection Cooperation

On 25 May 2016, the Commission published a new draft Regulation on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws. The draft Regulation is available here.

Measures in the area of parcel delivery

On 25 May 2016, the Commission published a draft Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services, available here.

A wide ranging review to prepare legislative proposals to tackle unjustified Geo-blocking

On 25 May 2016, the Commission published a draft Regulation addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market and amending Regulation No 2006/2004 (see above) and Directive 2009/22/EC (concerns injunctions for the protection of consumers' interest). The draft Regulation is available here

Competition sector inquiry into e-commerce, relating to the online trade of goods and the online provision of services

The inquiry was launched on 6 May 2015. The Commission published its initial findings on 18 March 2016. The findings are available here. A more detailed analysis of the findings of the e-commerce sector inquiry is expected to be published in a Preliminary Report in mid-2016. The Final Report is scheduled for early 2017.

Legislative proposals for a reform of the copyright regime

On 9 December 2015, the Commission published a draft Regulation on ensuring the cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market. The draft Regulation is available here. Additional legislative proposals will follow in 2016 as part of the Commission’s Copyright Reform Plan. More information can be found here.

Review of the Satellite and Cable Directive 93/83/EEC of 27 September 1993 on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission

The Commission held a public consultation (August - November 2015) as part of the review of the Satellite and Cable Directive. On 4 May 2016, the Commission published its full report on the consultation. The report is available here.

Legislative proposals to reduce the administrative burden on businesses arising from different VAT regimes

On 7 April 2016, the Commission published an Action Plan on VAT aiming for a single EU VAT regime. The Action Plan is available here.  A legislative proposal is expected to be published by the end of 2016.

Pillar 2: Creating the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish

Legislative proposals to reform the current telecoms rules

The Commission held a public consultation on the evaluation and the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services during September-December 2015. A synopsis report can be found here. The results will feed into the review of the regulatory framework for telecommunications and a legislative proposal expected in 2016.

Review the Audiovisual Media Services Directive  2010/13/EU of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services

On 25 May 2016, the Commission published a draft Directive amending Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services in view of changing market realities. The draft Directive is available here.

Comprehensive analysis of the role of platforms in the market including illegal content on the Internet

The Commission held a public consultation during September 2015 - January 2016 on the regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy. On 25 May 2016, the Commission published a communication on Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market Opportunities and Challenges for Europe available here, as well as a Commission staff working document on Online Platforms. The communication is available here.

Review the e-Privacy Directive 2002/58/EC of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector

The Commission’s public consultation on the e-Privacy Directive is open until 5 July 2016 and is available here. According to the initial plan, a legislative proposal is expected to be published during 2016.

Establishment of a Cybersecurity contractual Public-Private Partnership

According to the initial plan, the Commission’s proposed public private partnership on cyber security was to be launched during 2016. However, according to Commissioner Andrus Ansip, it is more likely to be launched early 2017.

Pillar 3: Maximising the growth potential of the Digital Economy

Initiatives on data ownership, free flow of data (e.g. between cloud providers) and on a European Cloud

As mentioned above, the Commission held a public consultation during September 2015 - January 2016 on the regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy. On 19 April 2014, the Commission published the following communication: “European Cloud Initiative - Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe”. The communication is available here. More information on the Commission’s actions related to cloud computing can be found here.

Adoption of a Priority ICT Standards Plan and extending the European Interoperability Framework for public services

On 19 April 2016, the Commission published a communication on ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market, which aims to ensure that all devices in the future will be able to connect and share data with each other – independently of manufacturer, operating system, or other technical details. The communication is available here

New e-Government Action Plan including an initiative on the 'Once-Only' principle and an initiative on building up the interconnection of business registers

On 19 April 2016, the Commission published a communication on the EU eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 Accelerating the digital transformation of government. The communication is available here.


For further information, please contact:
Lotta Uusitalo

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