Tuesday

15th Jun 2021

EU leaders impatient with digital rules, leak says

  • EU leaders at the last summit in Brussels also called for the implementation of the digital single market strategy (Photo: European Council)

EU leaders will tell their telecoms ministers and the European Parliament to find a compromise on several digital legislative files before the end of the year, according to a leaked draft of the conclusions of their summit next week.

"Digitalisation offers immense opportunities for innovation, growth, jobs and for ensuring our global competitiveness," the document said, dated 9 October and published on the Statewatch website.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The text repeated a previous commitment by government leaders that the EU's digital single market strategy should be implemented by the end of next year.

"Despite considerable progress, work in this area needs to be accelerated in order to meet this deadline," said the draft.

To achieve that, member state leaders said telecom ministers should "discuss how to accelerate and prioritise the work on the Digital Single Market" at their 24 October meeting.

They said negotiations between the EU Parliament and the Council of the EU, where ministers meet, on geo-blocking audio-visual media services should be wrapped up before the end of 2017.

EU legislation can usually only become law if both the council and parliament agree.

The draft text also said that, before the end of the year, telecom ministers should reach a compromise among themselves (before starting talks with the parliament) about two other digital proposals.

These proposals include plans to reduce barriers for data between EU states, and a new "electronic communications code", which lays down common EU rules for the telecom sector.

Artificial intelligence

The text also said that the EU needs "an openness to address emerging trends", such as artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, the latter best-known for its ability to support digital currencies, like Bitcoin.

EU leaders will ask the European Commission "to put forward a European approach to artificial intelligence by January 2018".

The text said that the European Council, where EU leaders meet for summits, will "closely follow developments in this area and provide the necessary guidance".

It said that if the Council of the EU, the forum for ministers, could not solve "issues", they would be "address[ed]" at the level of the European Council.

The summit in Brussels, on 19-20 October, follows a similar gathering in Tallinn last month, where the digital future was the main issue on the agenda.

The last time leaders convened in Brussels, in June, they also stressed the need for "the implementation of the digital single market strategy in all its elements".

News in Brief

  1. BBC and others boycott Belarus press circus
  2. Report: EU and US to unveil aircraft subsidy truce
  3. Putin refuses to guarantee Navalny will survive jail
  4. Erdoğan agrees to pull out mercenaries from Libya
  5. EU starts sale of first bonds for Covid-19 recovery fund
  6. Germans told not to 'storm pharmacies' for Covid pass
  7. Indonesia warns Covid-19 wave may not peak until July
  8. WTO chief: 'drop trade barriers on Covid-19 treatments'

Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?

The success of the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) will depend on whether data protection authorities enforce the new rules - which, in turn, will be at least partly determined by how many people they employ.

Eight countries to miss EU data protection deadline

The EU starts enforcing its general data protection regulation on 25 May - but Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia won't be ready. The delay will cause legal uncertainty.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. China officially joins Russia as a danger to Nato
  2. German Greens face reality check amid CDU gains
  3. EU Parliament wants Europe to take lead on sea-rescues
  4. MEPs urged to end gas-funding, fix cross-border projects rules
  5. Biden in Brussels - what's in the 'in-tray'?
  6. Yemen foreign minister to EU: to stop the war, talk to Iran
  7. Brexit grumbles overshadow UK summit
  8. Former French PM to work for Russian oil firm

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us