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How has the Commission fared in its first 100 days on digital and tech policy?

At the start of her mandate the newly-elected President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, set a 100-day deadline for her College to propose policies outlining the Commission’s work in the priority area of digital policy.

The 100 day mark has passed. We at Europe Analytica have closely monitored the developments in the digital and tech sphere and have evaluated the progress made.

The promise in Ursula von der Leyen’s Agenda for Europe to deliver legislation on Artificial Intelligence in the first 100 days was already deemed ambitious by many commentators and policy experts. As a matter of fact the Commission could not in this case rise to its ambition and published a non-legislative White Paper instead on 19 February. The “White Paper on Artificial Intelligence: a European approach to excellence and trust” primarily focuses on the measures and policy options to be included in possible future legislation. Key take-away: “Europe is already leading in AI but we are aware of the changes in the landscape and have to do more” - said von der Leyen.

On the same day, the Data Strategy and Digital Strategy were presented by Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton and Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager setting the framework for future policy-making. The two strategies are intertwined and complement each other, highlighted Commissioner Breton in his press conference. Citizens and Stakeholders have until 31 May to share their views in an online consultation on the Data Strategy as well as in an online consultation on AI. For more information on the Commission’s ambitions for the digital future, read our article of 24 February in which we covered these digital developments.

While the presentation of the Digital and Data Strategies was expected to fall within the 100-day time frame, everyone with an interest and a stake in digital policy has been eagerly waiting for the Commission to propose its Digital Services Act (DSA). The Commission’s pledge to present before the end of the year a new framework aiming to “increase and harmonize the responsibilities of online platforms” ought to become one of the most influential pieces of legislation in the Digital Single Market.

It is expected the European Commission will launch a public consultation on the Digital Services Act in early spring before coming with a legislative proposal by the end of the year.

Now that Covid-19 is taking its toll on every sector and field of work in Europe, the priorities of the EU Institutions have shifted to mobilise all resources to combat the virus and support the European health sector and economy. Despite these unprecedented and challenging circumstances, Europe Analytica will continue to monitor the developments in the digital and tech sphere and update you on any relevant activities that are set to take place in the European institutions and beyond.


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