Last Opportunity for the Digital Decade – eco on the EU Commission’s 2023 Work Programme for 2023

The EU Commission is presenting its Work Programme for 2023 today, Tuesday. eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme has the following to say:

“The year 2023 will be decisive in determining whether the EU Commission under Ursula von der Leyen can implement its digital policy goals before the next European elections. The related Work Programme is thus the last opportunity to get the digital decade underway in this legislative term. However, the focus of the EU Commission should be on implementing approved projects promptly as well as correspondingly closing open files.

“On the positive side, the EU Commission is striving for a holistic approach to the topic of sustainability in its digital policy, and has recognised the potential of digital technologies for climate protection. Digitalisation is part of the solution for achieving the climate targets in Europe by helping, for example, to save resources, reduce traffic or create new opportunities for CO2-neutral heat supply.

“I particularly welcome the fact that the EU Commission wants to focus on, support and promote small and medium-sized enterprises. At the same time, I wonder why SMEs have not found a sufficiently distinct valuation in the most recent legislative proposals. The mere intention to give special consideration to SMEs is not enough; the EU Commission must now follow up with action.

“The topic of sexualised violence against children online is being discussed in the Council as well as in the Parliament on the basis of the new CSAM Regulation. The current CSAM Regulation that is under discussion and a revised CSAM Directive will ultimately result in two sets of regulations. These must fit together and be coherent. There must be nothing in A that is regulated or defined differently in B. It would certainly make more sense to combine both regulations in one package in order to avoid an unnecessary complication of this process.

“When it comes to the planned measures on online piracy, I have to say that I view them with great scepticism. For years, the big publishing and media companies have not missed an opportunity to table their overt demands from the debate on the Copyright Directive. Tight deadlines in combination with a form of priority flagging – i.e. favoured automatic deletion – would, however, massively restrict the free Internet as we know it and in turn put a burden on SMEs in particular.”


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