Finished and unfinished business of the Digital Agenda


With the elections for the European Parliament coming up rather soon, this article gives an overview of the state of play on the legislative initiatives of the Digital Agenda. Some proposals have been rounded off just in time before the mandate of the current European Parliament ends. Some others, such as the reforms on data protection, will be dealt with by the new Parliament.

In the last weeks, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union agreed on two proposals presented by the Commissioner in charge of the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes. The first one is the e-identification regulation, which was approved by the plenary on 3 April 2014. This regulation will introduce the mutual recognition of electronic documents in every Member State. The second proposal is the Directive on the reduction of broadband costs in the EU and it was approved by the plenary on 15 April 2014.

Three other proposals related to the Digital Agenda have remained unfinished and are left to new Parliament. These dossiers are the Data Protection Directive, the Telecom package and the cyber security. In terms of actual results, the EU adopted a roaming regulation in 2012 that is now being modified by the Telecom package under negotiation. In the Council, France, Germany and the UK are trying to limit the discussions on measures that would have an immediate effect, such as the end of roaming in the EU.

The Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU, which takes over in July 2014, wants to link the Directive on data protection with the Directive on cyber security and aims to reach an agreement on the Data Protection in December 2014. Commissioner Kroes would like to present a communication before this summer about contracts for cloud storage, but she has to wait the results of the discussions on the Data Protection Directive. These complex legislative proposals will be discussed by the Council and the new European Parliament in the next months.

Ecommerce Europe has always advocated a careful approach to data protection reform. A more complete, more deliberate approach to data protection reform is more important than a quick solution. Ecommerce Europe applauds the efforts of the European Parliament to come with good proposals but feels that the current proposal still needs some amendments. We eagerly anticipate the new European Parliament and remain at the disposal to the newly elected MEPs to exchange thoughts.

Ecommerce Europe EU elections page
In the run up to the European Parliamentary elections on 22-25 May 2014, Ecommerce Europe has launched a special section on its website. The aim of this section is to update stakeholders, policy makers and members on the developments on the EU elections. Please click here for the EU elections page.