Brussels, 18 December 2020
COMMISSION RELEASES MUCH AWAITED DIGITAL MARKETS ACT AND DIGITAL SERVICES ACT
This week the Commission presented the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA), aiming to achieve three overarching goals: i) better protect consumers and their fundamental rights; ii) ensure open, safe & fair digital markets; and iii) prevent “gatekeeper” online platforms from imposing unfair conditions to users. Specifically, the DMA addresses the negative consequences arising from certain behaviours by platforms acting as digital “gatekeepers” to the single market. As for the DSA, the proposal aims to ensure illegal content online is removed in a timely manner, whilst safeguarding fundamental rights, by introducing a series of new and harmonised EU-wide obligations for digital services providers.
PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL FORMALLY ADOPT BUDGET AFTER EU LEADERS’ DEAL
After last week’s agreement on the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and Next Generation EU (NGEU) between EU leaders, this week the co-legislators formally adopted the MFF Regulation, while technical work on NGEU will continue before final adoption. Once adopted, the package will have a combined firepower of €1.8 trillion, with the aim to rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe, which will be a greener, more digital, more resilient, and better fit for current and forthcoming challenges. The European Commission will be able to start committing the funds under the next MFF as of 1 January 2021.
BREXIT TRADE TALKS GO DOWN TO THE WIRE AS BARNIER SAYS “JUST A FEW HOURS REMAIN”
EU-UK future relationship talks are reaching the “moment of truth,” Michel Barnier has said. Despite progress on level-playing field, fisheries and state aid are still causing problems with the UK pushing for the EU’s €750 billion recovery package to not be exempted from subsidy rules. European Parliament leaders issued an ultimatum in a Conference of Presidents’ statement, saying that a deal will have to be reached by Sunday 20th December for it to be ratified before the end of 2020. Further, after the fifth meeting of the Joint Committee, both sides agreed the Withdrawal Agreement would be fully operational on January 1, 2021, whatever the result of the talks.
NEW CYBERSECURITY STRATEGY AIMS TO STRENGTHEN EU’S CYBER-RESILIENCE
This week the Commission published its ‘Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade’. Overall, the strategy aims to i) ensure an open Internet and cyber-secure digital transformation, ii) increase cyber resilience, and iii) mitigate risks to security and fundamental rights of people in Europe. In this regard, the Communication proposes several horizontal actions and ensures the EU’s commitment to support this strategy through significant investments. The strategy stresses that the digital ser-vices and financial services sectors are among the most frequent targets of attacks, along with the public sector and manufacturing, while cyber readiness and awareness among businesses remains low.
COMMISSION PROPOSES REVISED RULES FOR CROSS-BORDER ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE
On Tuesday, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise EU rules on Trans-European Networks for Energy (the TEN-E Regulation) as part of efforts to modernize Europe’s cross-border energy infrastructure. The proposals push for restricting EU funding for natural gas infrastructures, and instead concentrating on electricity and low-carbon networks to accelerate the Green Deal objectives. EU funding under TEN-E aims to target national and private sector investments to drive these climate aims, strengthen cross-border interconnections, promote EU cooperation with partner countries in the field of energy. A new focus on hydrogen infrastructure, including in transport, is particularly emphasized.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
THE EU INSIGHT WILL BE BACK IN 2021.
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab
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