Consultation launched on Digital Services Act

Open until 8 September, it covers issues such as safety online, freedom of expression, fairness and a level-playing field in the digital economy

European Commission's Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager

The Commission has launched on 1 June a public consultation on the Digital Services Act - a landmark package announced by President von der Leyen in her political guidelines and in the Commission's Communication “Shaping Europe's Digital Future” of 19 February.

The consultation seeks to gather views, evidence and data from people, businesses, online platforms, academics, civil society and all interested parties to help he EU shape the future rulebook for digital services. Open until 8 September, it covers issues such as safety online, freedom of expression, fairness and a level-playing field in the digital economy.

“We are asking for the views of interested citizens and stakeholders on how to make a modern regulatory framework for digital services and online platforms in the EU. Many of these questions impact the day-to-day lives of citizens and we are committing to build a safe and innovative digital future with purpose for them,” Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said.

"We will listen to all views and reflect together to find the right balance between a safe Internet for all, protecting freedom of expression and ensuring space to innovate in the EU single market," Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton added.

In particular, the consultation will cover the two work strands announced by the Commission as part of the Digital Services Act package.

The first set of rules would relate to the fundamentals of the e-commerce directive, in particular the freedom to provide digital services across the EU single market in accordance with the rules of the place of establishment and a broad limitation of liability for content created by users. 

The second measure would address the issue of the level playing field in European digital markets, where currently a few large online platforms act as gatekeepers. The Commission aimes to explore rules to address these market imbalances, to ensure that consumers have the widest choice and that the EU single market for digital services remains competitive and open to innovation.

This could be through additional general rules for all platforms of a certain scale, such as rules on self-preferencing, and/or through tailored regulatory obligations for specific gatekeepers, such as non-personal data access obligations, specific requirements regarding personal data portability, or interoperability requirements.

In addition, the Commission is also taking the opportunity to consult on other emerging issues related to online platforms, such as the opportunities and challenges that self-employed people face in providing services through online platforms.

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