Another month has passed. Another round of communications has been
We now have the Working Programme of the new European Commission, while
work on classics such as TERREG and hate speech (nationally) continues.
This and previous reports on Meta-Wiki:
NEW COMMISSION WORK PROGRAMME
Drumroll? Eyeroll… The Commission has been sharing its Working Programme
(see a very final draft  and the communication ). Some new aspects
Artificial Intelligence will be regulated… somehow. Von der Leyen’s team
is not giving up on getting some sort of AI rules out quickly. They now
want to propose legislation by the end of the year. There will be a White
Paper (non-legislative consideration document by the Commission) in
February and then some sort of stakeholder consultation and an impact
assessment. The aim is to have something proposed by the end of 2020.
Issues in the categories of product safety, liability, fundamental rights
and data will be reviewed. Some eyebrows were raised after the Commission
dropped its idea to introduce a general, temporary ban on facial
recognition in public spaces. Several Member States complained that they
actually would like to test the technology on the field.
A Data Act for 2021 the Commission seems to be mulling of a new set of data
rules. The focus seems to be on business-to-government and
business-to-business activities and the accompanying legal liability of
data use.There is some talk of an “enhanced portability right,” however,
details are to scarce tos hare.
DIGITAL SERVICES ACT
While Brussels is waiting for the European Commission to present a proposal
that has every chance to become the most controversial dossier of 9th
Parliamentary term, the MEPs at Internal Market and Consumer Protection
Committee (IMCO) decided to have their own Initiative Report on the matter.
Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MK) has been appointed as the main rapporteur. The
shadows are so far: Pablo Arias Echeverría (EPP, Spain) Dita Charanzová
(Renew Europe, CZ), Alexandra Geese (Greens, DE). The ensemble will be busy
well into the summer, until the Committee vote in July. The Plenary vote is
planned for September.
Rumor has it Legal Affairs Committee will also have and initiative report
on DSA. Some names made known for rapporteurship include two newbies: Karen
Melchior (Renew Europe, DK) and Patrick Breyer (Greens, DE); and a more
seasoned but quite silent on digital issues – at least during the copyright
debates - József Szájer (EPP, HU).
GERMANY, FRANCE, UK
While the Commission is plotting… eh, planning, national governments are
busy trying to regulate hate speech.
Berlin is working on re-hashing its Netzwerkdurchsetunggesetz . It is
an act aimed at limiting agitation and fake news on social media mainly by
shifting more responsibility on such platform providers. It hasn’t worked
well since its introduction. It seems like the German government will try
to make sure users can easily find and access mechanisms how to report
illegal content. Also on board: Stronger transparency requirements and some
sort of rules on companies using artificial intelligence technologies son
platforms. This is still being drafted.
France is in the meanwhile continuing to work on its Hate Speech law ,
despite being asked by the Commission to postpone it until European
regulation kicks in. Paris wants to require Google and Facebook to remove
flagged hate speech within 24 hours.The law shall no longer cover material
related to sexual harassment and human trafficking. Wikimedia France has,
together with other civil society groups, opposed the project. 
Now that the Croatian Presidency took over until the end of June, it
demonstrates exactly the same attitude as its predecessor: to be done with
the Trilogues on this important file before its EU-reign ends. We’ll see
about that - the previous round did not even produce a first compromise
draft to complain about. The schedule is also tight and busy: 4 technical
meetings followed by the Trilogue on March 18. Does Zagreb ambitiously plan
to close the deal on that day? Regardless if that is reasonable expectation
or not, intense lobbying weeks are ahead.
BIG FAT BRUSSELS MEETING 2020
We are doing it… again :)
The dates of the 7th (!) annual gathering of EU policy enthusiasts have
been picked: March 21-22. The title is Life After Copyright, and if you
need any leads, the contents of this newsletter can provide some. Please
indicate your presence now on Meta-Wiki  and drop me a line if you need