The ECR Group in the European Parliament welcomes the agreement on the Digital Services Act (DSA), concluded today in the early hours of the morning after 16 hours of negotiations.
Under the deal, the online environment will be much more transparent and safer for users as the DSA provides for increased accountability of online platforms for posted content. “The DSA is a big step forward in promoting greater fairness in digital markets. The main aim of the ECR Group was to guarantee freedom of expression online, increasing transparency and removing incentives for platforms to remove user content too hastily”, ECR shadow rapporteur Adam Bielan commented.
“There was a need to define when platforms should step in to tackle the illegal content. There must be clarity, so that users are preserved from the unilateral restriction of their freedom of expression”, Mr Bielan added.
For the ECR Group, it was also particularly important that the concerns of SMEs were taken into account. Mr Bielan also fended off a proposal that would have led to a massive deletion of websites from search engines.
The Digital Services Act is a key legislation of this Parliamentary term. It will change the functioning of the digital market across the entire European Union. “In the context of rapidly evolving digital technologies and business models and new societal challenges, we’re reshaping the rights and obligations of digital service providers, internet users, customers and business users in the EU”, Mr Bielan said.
The Digital Services Act, originally put forward by the European Commission on 15 December 2020, is a revision of the E-Commerce directive, bringing the baseline for online marketplace operations up to date. The horizontal nature of the regulation addresses issues and regulatory gaps that have arisen over the last two decades. The new set of rules for the digital space creates a novel framework to counter the proliferation of illegal content online and gives individual users the power to challenge platforms’ arbitrary decisions.