Digital Services Act: Time to end the Digital ‘Wild West’ says Arba Kokalari

EPP Group Shadow Rapporteur says MEPs must seize the opportunity of upcoming DSA plenary vote to create a more innovative, competitive and safer European digital market
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By Arba Kokalari

Arba Kokalari (SE, EPP) is shadow rapporteur for the Digital Services Act

13 Jan 2022

By adopting its position on the Digital Services Act (DSA) proposal, the European Parliament will send a clear signal that we want a Digital Single Market with clear rules, strong consumer protection and a business friendly environment.

The DSA will put an end to the current digital ‘Wild West’ where the big platforms set the rules themselves and criminal content goes viral.

The digital sector is key to economic growth, improving quality of life and achieving the EU’s climate goals. Unfortunately, Europe is lagging behind in the global digital race.

The DSA is a crucial step to ensure that European digital companies can reach new customers easily and compete internationally. At the same time, it will lead to more effective removal of illegal content, increase transparency for consumers, and strengthen the rights of users who have been mistreated by the big platforms.

"The DSA is a crucial step to ensure that European digital companies can reach new customers easily and compete internationally"

As the EPP Group’s Shadow Rapporteur in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee, my aim is to achieve a balanced horizontal regulation that harmonises the EU Digital Single Market and protects consumers from illegal content, while still enabling an open, diverse and innovative digital landscape.

In the negotiations I have been a voice against overregulation, which could hamper freedom of speech and overburden businesses with bureaucracy.

At the same time, I have fought for effective measures against illegal content that will allow consumers to feel safe when using online services. The compromise currently on the table reflects these priorities well.

Throughout the processes, the DSA has attracted a lot of interest from a number of different stakeholders. Many have been pushing to introduce new elements related to the digital market, such as legislation on advertising, media content and copyright.

While there are many problems in the digital world today, the DSA cannot solve all of them.

"Ideally, the vote in plenary will stay as close as possible to the broad compromise agreed between the Parliament’s political groups"

The DSA is a horizontal, technology-neutral regulation with the long-term aim of avoiding fragmentation of the Digital Single Market.

Specific rules for certain types of content or services are better suited to sectoral legislation, otherwise we risk ending up with a regulation that will be unworkable and quickly outdated.

Ideally, the vote in plenary will stay as close as possible to the broad compromise agreed between the Parliament’s political groups.

This will be a good start for the trilogue negotiations and hopefully we can soon start implementing this urgently needed legislation.

This is our chance as members of the European Parliament to create a more innovative, competitive and safe European digital market.

Read the most recent articles written by Arba Kokalari - Putting the European Single Market on a path to sustainability

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