EU institutions endorse declaration on digital rights and principles
On Thursday, EP President Metsola, EC President von der Leyen and Czech Prime Minister Fiala signed a joint declaration to promote a digital transition based on EU values.
In the joint declaration, the three institutions want to place people and EU values at the core of the digital transformation. More specifically, the declaration aims to provide guidance to policy makers when reflecting on their vision for the digital transformation and to serve as a reference point for businesses when deploying new technologies.
The European digital rights and principles, endorsed with this declaration, will complement existing rights, such as data protection, ePrivacy, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Parliament, Council and the Commission agreed on common political commitments and rights in the context of the digital transformation, such as: using technology to unite people; safeguarding fundamental rights online; ensuring access to online public services; the right to disconnect; freedom to choose whether to use and interact with AI systems; access to safe technologies; privacy and control over personal data and promoting sustainable digital technologies.
After the declaration was signed, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said "We want to make Europe fit for the digital age. This declaration puts our citizens at the heart of the digital transition and makes sure that our values also apply in the digital sphere”.
The Commission proposed on 26 January 2022 a European declaration on digital rights and principles for the digital decade, as a follow-up to its communication on the "Digital compass 2030: a European way forward for the digital decade". It sets out the vision for a digitally transformed Europe by 2030 in line with European values. The EU’s ambition is to be digitally sovereign in an open and interconnected world that embraces empowered citizens and innovative businesses in a human-centred, inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable digital society.
The European Parliament has made several calls about establishing ethical principles that guide the EU’s approach to the digital transformation, as well as ensuring full compliance with fundamental rights such as data protection, the right to privacy, non-discrimination and gender equality, and with principles such as consumer protection, technological and net neutrality, trustworthiness and inclusiveness. It has also called for users’ rights to be protected more robustly, investment in digital skills , support for workers’ rights and mental health in the digital workspace, as well as the right to disconnect.