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 Full text 
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

A social Europe in a Digital world (topical debate)

  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D). – Madam President, yes, digital technologies have changed every aspect of our life, including the existing working and business models and the way we communicate with each other. There are no physical boundaries in the digital world, but there are also no clear rules. A few big companies are setting the new digital values and ethics, shaking up existing rules, raising questions of equal conditions, responsibility, safety and protection of employees. It’s time that we delivered a strong social dimension and a safe online environment for our citizens. What is not allowed offline should not be allowed online, especially if it is done to the detriment of the people.

New working models in the digital age must not become a synonym for exploitation and surveillance of workers’ performance. One way to address this is through the digital right to disconnect. Just like the eight-hour working day, workers and employees should have a mandatory minimum level of digitally disconnected time per day. The Commission must also examine the new digital risks and consequences for the wellbeing of workers, including the issues of additional working hours.

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