Digital Services Act: Political agreement between European lawmakers

Digital Services Act: Political agreement between European lawmakers

Negotiators from the two law-making bodies of the European Union, i.e. the European Parliament and from the Council of the EU, agreed on 23 April 2022 in Brussels on a Digital Services Act (DSA) that shall ensure stricter oversight of online platforms and more protection for online consumers.

Among other things, the DSA is intended to ensure that in the European Union illegal content such as hate speech is removed from the net more quickly, harmful disinformation and war propaganda is shared less, and fewer counterfeit products are sold on online marketplaces. The basic principle should be: What is illegal offline should also be illegal online. On one hand, providers of digital services shall benefit from legal certainty and uniform rules in the EU. Large platforms with at least 45 million users, on the other hand, will have to follow significantly more regulations than smaller ones.

The DSA will contain EU-wide due diligence obligations that 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. In scope of the DSA are various online intermediary services. Their obligations under the DSA will depend on their role, size, and impact on the online ecosystem according to the EU Commission.

The political agreement still has to be confirmed by the European Parliament and the EU states which is considered to be a formality. Once adopted, the DSA will be directly applicable across the EU and will apply fifteen months or from 1 January 2024, whichever later, after entry into force. The DSA represent the second part of a large digital package proposed by the EU Commission in December 2020. The first part is represented by the Digital Markets Act (DMA), on which there was already an agreement at the end of March 2022. The DMA is primarily intended to limit the market power of tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebookwith stricter competition rules.

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Thursday, 21 March 2024
Thursday, 20 March 2025