European Parliament passes far-reaching Digital Services Package

The European Parliament has officially adopted the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, the first comprehensive rulebook for online platforms to be introduced.

The Package – originally proposed by the European Commission in December 2020 – will be applicable across the whole of the EU and will create a ‘safer and more open digital space, grounded in respect for fundamental rights’.

The new rules will be enforced by the Commission for the largest online platforms active in the EU. The EC said it is taking ‘all necessary steps’ to be ready to take up this role upon the entry into force of the rules.

Following the adoption of the Package, both texts have to be formally adopted by the Council of the European Union. After this, the Package will be published in the Official Journal, and will enter into force 20 days after said publication, which is set to be in autumn of this year.

Margrethe Vestager – EVP for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age – said, “The European Parliament has adopted a global first: Strong, ambitious regulation of online platforms. The Digital Services Act enables the protection of users’ rights online. The Digital Markets Act creates fair, open online markets.

“As an example, illegal hate speech can also be dealt with online. And products bought online must be safe. Big platforms will have to refrain from promoting their own interests, share their data with other businesses, enable more app stores. Because with size comes responsibility – as a big platform, there are things you must do and things you cannot do.”

Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton added, “10 years ago, a page was turned on ‘too big to fail’ banks. Now — with DSA & DMA — we’re turning the page on ‘too big to care’ platforms. We are finally building a single digital market, the most important one in the ‘free world’. The same predictable rules will apply, everywhere in the EU, for our 450 million citizens, bringing everyone a safer and fairer digital space.”

Earlier this year, the European Parliament said it was set to give Europol – the EU’s police agency – new powers to gather and use data following a recent vote.

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