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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Digital transformation

28-06-2019

A digital revolution is transforming the world as we know it at unprecedented speed. Digital technologies have changed the way businesses operate, how people connect and exchange information, and how they interact with the public and private sectors. European businesses and citizens alike need an adequate policy framework and appropriate skills and infrastructures to capture the enormous value created by the digital economy and make a success of digital transformation. The European Union plays an ...

A digital revolution is transforming the world as we know it at unprecedented speed. Digital technologies have changed the way businesses operate, how people connect and exchange information, and how they interact with the public and private sectors. European businesses and citizens alike need an adequate policy framework and appropriate skills and infrastructures to capture the enormous value created by the digital economy and make a success of digital transformation. The European Union plays an active role in shaping the digital economy, with cross-policy initiatives that range from boosting investment to reforming EU laws, to non-legislative actions to improve Member States' coordination and exchange of best practices. The 2014-2019 parliamentary term has seen a number of initiatives in the areas of digitalisation of industry and public services, investment in digital infrastructure and services, research programmes, cybersecurity, e-commerce, copyright and data protection legislation. There is a growing awareness among EU citizens that digital technologies play an important role in their everyday lives. In a 2017 survey, two-thirds of Europeans said that these technologies have a positive impact on society, the economy and their own lives. However, they also bring new challenges. A majority of respondents felt that the EU, Member States' authorities and companies need to take action to address the impacts of these technologies. The European Union will increase its support for digital transformation in the coming years, as illustrated by the recent proposal for the Digital Europe programme (for 2021-2027) – which would be the first ever funding programme dedicated solely to supporting digital transformation in the EU. Further EU action will doubtless be needed, notably to increase infrastructure investment, boost innovation, foster digital champions and businesses digitalisation, reduce existing digital divides, remove remaining barriers in the digital single market and ensure an adequate legal and regulatory framework in the areas of advanced computing and data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. The European Parliament, as co-legislator, is closely involved in shaping the policy framework that will help citizens and businesses fully exploit the potential of digital technologies. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Copyright in the digital single market

14-06-2019

The European Commission presented a legislative package for the modernisation of the EU copyright rules, including a new directive on copyright in the digital single market, on 14 September 2016. Stakeholders and academics were strongly divided on the proposal. In February 2019, after more than two years of protracted negotiations, the co-legislators agreed on a new set of copyright rules, including two controversial provisions: 1) the creation of a new right that will allow press publishers to claim ...

The European Commission presented a legislative package for the modernisation of the EU copyright rules, including a new directive on copyright in the digital single market, on 14 September 2016. Stakeholders and academics were strongly divided on the proposal. In February 2019, after more than two years of protracted negotiations, the co-legislators agreed on a new set of copyright rules, including two controversial provisions: 1) the creation of a new right that will allow press publishers to claim remuneration for the online use of their publications (Article 15), and 2) the imposition of content monitoring measures on online platforms such as YouTube, which seeks to resolve the 'value gap' and help rights-holders to better monetise and control the distribution of their content online (Article 17). Furthermore, in addition to the mandatory exception for text and data mining for research purposes proposed by the Commission in its proposal, the co legislators agreed to enshrine in EU law another mandatory exception for general text and data mining (Article 4) in order to contribute to the development of data analytics and artificial intelligence. The European Parliament (in plenary) and the Council approved the compromise text in March 2019 and in April 2019 respectively. The directive was published on 15 May 2019 in the Official Journal of the European Union, and all Member States must transpose the new rules into their national law by June 2021. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Fairness and transparency for business users of online services

12-04-2019

The European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the proposed regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services in February 2019. Providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon and eBay) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) will be required to implement a set of measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses (e.g. online retailers, hotels and restaurants ...

The European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the proposed regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services in February 2019. Providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon and eBay) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) will be required to implement a set of measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses (e.g. online retailers, hotels and restaurants businesses, app stores), which use such online platforms to sell and provide their services to customers in the EU. The regulation, which, inter alia, harmonises transparency rules applicable to contractual terms and conditions, ranking of goods and services and access to data, is considered to be the first regulatory attempt in the world to establish a fair, trusted and innovation-driven ecosystem in the online platform economy. Now that Member States' and Parliament's negotiators have endorsed the compromise text, the political agreement must be voted in plenary by the European Parliament and formally adopted by the Council to complete the legislative procedure.

Supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products

10-04-2019

On 13 February 2019, Parliament and Council negotiators agreed on amending the EU rules on patent protection for generic and biosimilar medicines. Parliament is due to vote on the compromise text, approved by its Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), at its second plenary session in April.

On 13 February 2019, Parliament and Council negotiators agreed on amending the EU rules on patent protection for generic and biosimilar medicines. Parliament is due to vote on the compromise text, approved by its Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), at its second plenary session in April.

Regulating online TV and radio broadcasting

22-03-2019

In December 2018, the co-legislators reached an agreement on a European Commission proposal for facilitating the cross-border provision of online TV and radio content. The co-legislators agreed to extend the 'country of origin' principle to a limited set of online services, and to facilitate the licensing of retransmission services over the internet under certain conditions. Furthermore, at the request of the European Parliament, the compromise text contains new rules on 'direct injection', a process ...

In December 2018, the co-legislators reached an agreement on a European Commission proposal for facilitating the cross-border provision of online TV and radio content. The co-legislators agreed to extend the 'country of origin' principle to a limited set of online services, and to facilitate the licensing of retransmission services over the internet under certain conditions. Furthermore, at the request of the European Parliament, the compromise text contains new rules on 'direct injection', a process used increasingly by broadcasters to transmit their programmes to the public. The compromise also includes a change of the instrument from a regulation into a directive in order to leave flexibility to the Member States to implement the new rules on 'direct injection'. The Member States' negotiators and the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) endorsed the political agreement in January 2019. The compromise text must now gain the approval of the European Parliament during the March II plenary session. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Copyright in the digital single market

20-03-2019

On 13 February 2019, after more than two years of protracted negotiations, Parliament and Council negotiators reached a provisional agreement on the proposal for an EU directive on copyright. The compromise, approved by the Legal Affairs Committee and by the Council, is due to be voted by Parliament in plenary during March.

On 13 February 2019, after more than two years of protracted negotiations, Parliament and Council negotiators reached a provisional agreement on the proposal for an EU directive on copyright. The compromise, approved by the Legal Affairs Committee and by the Council, is due to be voted by Parliament in plenary during March.

Copyright in the digital single market

05-09-2018

A European Commission proposal to adapt EU copyright law to the digital environment has sharply divided stakeholders, academics and MEPs. Parliament is now preparing to debate and vote on the JURI committee’s report on the proposed revised copyright directive, during the September plenary session.

A European Commission proposal to adapt EU copyright law to the digital environment has sharply divided stakeholders, academics and MEPs. Parliament is now preparing to debate and vote on the JURI committee’s report on the proposed revised copyright directive, during the September plenary session.

EU electronic communications code and co-investment: Taking stock of the policy discussion

05-02-2018

The EU regulatory framework on electronic communications sets common rules on how electronic communications networks and services such as telephony and internet broadband connections are regulated in the European Union (EU). While the revision of this framework has started, a debate arises on how best to foster investment in the EU for deploying the very high capacity networks that are increasingly needed for 5G mobile services, as well as e-services such as e health, e administration, cloud computing ...

The EU regulatory framework on electronic communications sets common rules on how electronic communications networks and services such as telephony and internet broadband connections are regulated in the European Union (EU). While the revision of this framework has started, a debate arises on how best to foster investment in the EU for deploying the very high capacity networks that are increasingly needed for 5G mobile services, as well as e-services such as e health, e administration, cloud computing and connected cars. One of the proposals of the European Commission is to amend the current regulatory framework in order to facilitate co-investment (i.e. when several investors agree to invest together) for building new high-capacity network infrastructure. However, the European Parliament and Council both want to amend the text significantly. This briefing discusses the policy context and the rationale behind the rules on co investment proposed in the draft EU electronic communications code, and assesses the main areas of convergence and divergence between the initial positions of the co legislators. Furthermore, some key issues for discussion are highlighted, including what types of co-investment agreements and assets should be exempted from regulation, the degree of competition safeguards needed and the extent of national regulators' oversight of the co-investment projects.

Geo-blocking and discrimination among customers in the EU

02-02-2018

Geo-blocking practices commonly restrict cross-border sales of tangible goods as well as of electronically supplied services and electronically delivered content services in the EU. In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of tangible goods, and of some types of electronically supplied services, from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. In November 2017, after protracted negotiations ...

Geo-blocking practices commonly restrict cross-border sales of tangible goods as well as of electronically supplied services and electronically delivered content services in the EU. In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of tangible goods, and of some types of electronically supplied services, from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. In November 2017, after protracted negotiations, the co-legislators agreed to ban some types of unjustified geo-blocking practices. However, the ban will not apply initially to content and services protected under copyright (for instance, e-books and downloads of music and audiovisual content). At the request of the Parliament, a review clause has been introduced which requires the Commission to re-examine the situation two years after the entry into force of the regulation.

E-commerce: Ban on unjustified geo-blocking and discrimination practices among customers

31-01-2018

In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of physical goods and of some types of electronically supplied services and content from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. The Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the February I plenary session.

In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of physical goods and of some types of electronically supplied services and content from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. The Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the February I plenary session.

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