A summary of the exchange of views, with a focus on digital, transport and finance policy, is now available.
Update: a speech by Commissioner Vella was made available.
The key decisions taken by the Commission are presented below and grouped by policy area.
The Commission is also closing 146 cases in which the issues with the Member States concerned have been solved without the Commission needing to pursue the procedure further.
The Court orders Belgium to pay a penalty payment of €5,000 per day for not fully transposing the directive on high-speed electronic communications networks and, a fortiori, for failure to notify the relevant transposing measures to the Commission.
The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Broadcom may be restricting competition through exclusivity practices, in breach of EU rules. The Commission intends to impose interim measures during the investigation with regard to TV and modem chipsets markets. Broadcom is the world’s largest designer, developer and provider of integrated circuits for wired communication devices.
Association of European Competition Law Judges Annual Conference, 6 June 2019
The State Data Protection Inspectorate has imposed an administrative fine in the amount of EUR 61,500 for the breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation. The sanctions were imposed on MisterTango UAB for the breaches of Articles 5, 32 and 33 of the afore-mentioned Regulation, i.e. the personal data breach in the payment initiation service system which, inter alia, has also not been reported to the supervisory authority. In the opinion of the Inspectorate, the start of imposing fines under the General Data Protection Regulation should be a significant signal to other companies which only declaratively comply with the provisions of the above legal acts.
16 May 2019
“In this time, we have been faced by a range of security issues. We have worked to tackle terrorism, by closing down the space in which terrorists operate – cutting down on their access to money, weapons and explosives, and making it harder for them to travel around – by building our resilience to attacks and our ability to recover from them, and by tackling the radicalisation and online terrorist content that fuel extremism.
We have undertaken efforts to combat the growing and evolving array of cyber and cyber-enabled threats, by putting in place a new EU cybersecurity strategy in order to build our resilience, strengthen our deterrence and support Member States in cyber defence; and then by working to strengthen election security and tackle disinformation online, including by working with Member States and the big internet platforms”
16 May 2019
“The range of cyber and cyber-enabled threats is expanding and evolving. Cyberattacks are growing both in number and in sophistication, touching on all parts of the economy, governance and our daily lives, affecting individuals, major business and critical infrastructure. And over the past year or so, we have seen the growth of the more pernicious, politically-driven kinds of security threat posed by disinformation and attempted interference in our democratic processes. Finally, we need to think carefully about how the EU can ensure the security of its critical digital infrastructure in the coming years, including the incoming 5G networks.”
An unprecedented, international law enforcement operation has dismantled a complex, globally operating and organised cybercrime network. The criminal network used GozNym malware in an attempt to steal an estimated $100 million from more than 41 000 victims, primarily businesses and their financial institutions.
BGP hijacks, hacking the internet route map, continue to happen. Despite years of warnings by security experts. This spells danger for national security, privacy of citizens, and the resilience of the internet, both in Europe and globally.
Last year ENISA surveyed a range of large and small providers across the EU, confirming that BGP hijacks are an issue also in the EU: 44% of respondents said that the impact of BGP incidents is high, affecting large numbers of users and last for many hours, and 93% say it needs an urgent fix.
Facial recognition technology has been advancing rapidly over the past decade and is starting to be common in more devices, more places and real time. The odds are that facial biometrical information is already being analysed regularly.
While there are numerous positive use cases, facial recognition has been identified by the High Level Expert Group on AI as a critical concern, and in June, the European Commission will put its recently published AI ethical guidelines to a test.
The two suspected administrators of a website known as DeepDotWeb have been arrested on 6 May 2019 in Paris, France and Israel. Authorities in the US have charged the two individuals after an internationally coordinated operation today, supported by Europol. At the same time, the DeepDotWeb website was seized by law enforcement and judicial authorities.
The two suspects, both Israeli citizens, have been charged by a US federal jury with money laundering conspiracy, relating to millions of dollars in kickbacks they received for purchases of fentanyl, heroin and other illegal goods, by individuals referred to dark web marketplaces by DeepDotWeb.
The criminals carried out several money laundering schemes involving the transfer from fiat currency to virtual assets to hide the illegal origin of the proceeds. Some of the identified modi operandi used crypto ATMs and smurfing, a criminal method used to split illicit proceeds into smaller sums and placing these small amounts into the financial system to avoid suspicious transaction reporting.
The European Commission decided, on 3 May 2019, that the Latvian regulator’s decision to suspend for three months the retransmission of a Russian language channel “Rossiya RTR”, due to incitement to hatred, is compatible with EU law. The decision has been notified today to the Member States
The Latvian authorities informed the Commission in March 2019 that the Russian language channel “Rossiya RTR”, broadcasting to Latvia from Sweden, had been broadcasting content that could be deemed as incitement to hatred. The language used during some programmes on “Rossiya RTR” referred to military confrontations and contained unambiguous calls for, and threats of, indiscriminate violence, occupation or destruction in foreign countries, including the Baltic states. The Latvian authorities therefore decided to suspend the retransmission of the channel for three months.
Two prolific dark web marketplaces have been taken down in simultaneous global operations, supported by Europol: the Wall Street Market and the Silkkitie (known as the Valhalla Marketplace)
Those responsible for the world’s second largest illegal online market in the dark web, Wall Street Market, were also arrested in Germany, and two of the highest-selling suppliers of narcotics were arrested in US.
Two cases concerning Svea Ekonomi, a financial credit company, have been processed at the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman. As a result, the Data Protection Ombudsman has ordered the company to correct its practices in the processing of personal data related to the assessment of creditworthiness, the right of inspect one’s own personal data and notification practices.