EU Policy Updates
ISPA is keeping you updated about EU policy issues.
Update May: Terrorist Content Online Proposal & Copyright Directive
The current European Parliament gathered in April 2019 for the last time, as the EU elections in May 2019 will renew it and mark the beginning of the 9th legislature (2019-2024). During these last plenary meetings, MEPs adopted the European Parliament’s position on the proposal for a Regulation on the prevention of terrorist content online. The final text generally improves the European Commission’s proposal, as it narrows down the scope and aligns the text with the current EU intermediary liability regime. The European Parliament has also published additional non-legislative “Working Documents” on its proposal for a Regulation on cross-border access to electronic evidence. However, trilogues between the three main EU institutions are not expected to commence before 2020. In other developments, also the Council adopted the extremely controversial Copyright Directive reform, bringing the legislative process to an end. Member States will now have 2 years to implement the new rules nationally, providing EuroISPA members with a window of opportunity to work towards a national implementation which would improve the text from the point of view of the industry.
Update April: Copyright Directive reform & ePrivacy Regulation
March was marked by the adoption of the Copyright Directive reform by the European Parliament, which imposes a much stricter liability regime on certain platforms. Such a new regime could potentially encourage platforms to over-block lawful content as a consequence, and would be particularly burdensome for SMEs. Discussions on the proposal for a Regulation on the prevention of terrorist content online continued, with several European Parliament Committees publishing their Opinions. The amendments are generally positive, as they aim to narrow down the scope and align the text with the current EU intermediary liability regime. In other developments, discussions on data retention are back on the agenda – EuroISPA participated to a dedicated European Commission stakeholder roundtable and Member States are discussing this topic in the Council. When it comes to the Directive on cross-border access to electronic evidence, which sets out obligations for service providers on the nomination of legal representatives in the EU, the Council adopted its position. Finally, the Council continues its work on the ePrivacy Regulation, with the aim to reach a position by the end of the current Romanian Presidency. In parallel, we understand that the Parliament will not attempt to reach a first reading position on the ePrivacy dossier in this legislature.
Update March: Copyright Directive reform & Terrorist Content Online Proposal
In February, the European Institutions made progress in almost all of the policy initiatives EuroISPA follows. In a major breakthrough, the three Institutions reached a provisional agreement on the Copyright Directive reform, which will need to be endorsed by the European Parliament as a whole in March or April. The European Parliament was also particularly active on the proposal for a Regulation on the prevention of terrorist content online, with amendments being tabled and debated throughout the month. Most of the amendments are positive, as they attempt to target the scope and align the text with the current EU intermediary liability regime. When it comes to the Directive on cross-border access to electronic evidence, which sets out obligations for service providers on the nomination of legal representatives, the Council is close to a position. We also understand that the Council aims to reach a position on the proposal for an ePrivacy Regulation by March 2019.
Update February: Negotiations on the Copyright Directive reform & Terrorist Content Online Proposal
As 2019 begins, the European Parliament intensified its efforts on the proposal on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. While the leading Committee did not substantially alter the text, the opinion-giving Committees improved it significantly, deleting references to proactive measures and upload filters. The negotiations on the Copyright Directive reform are frantically continuing – however, the Romanian Presidency of the Council was unable to agree on a renewed position, because of existing disagreements on a potential exception for SMEs between Member States. As regards the proposal for ePrivacy, the European Commission published several documents exploring the interaction between the proposal and existing regulatory frameworks on CSAM and M2M and IoT technologies. The Romanian Presidency aims to achieve a compromise text by the end of the legislature.
Update January: Terrorist Content Online Proposal & E-Evidence Proposal
Negotiations proceeded at a swift pace on a series of EU digital policy files. Surprisingly, the EU Member States adopted their position on the terrorist content online proposal (see also Maximilian Schubert's presentation at the Council of Europe) and the cross-border provision of electronic evidence proposals (see also Maximilian Schuberts presentation at the European Parliament) respectively on 6th and 7th December. Similarly, the European Parliament and the Council are prioritising the Copyright Directive reform, with a view to finalise the interinstitutional negotiations by the beginning of 2019 - the political will is there; however, compromises have not been found yet on the most controversial provisions of the text. By contrast, as regards the proposal for a Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications, the Council only published a progress report - the new Romanian Presidency of the Council hopes to achieve a common position of the Member States by June 2019.