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”
Today, the European Commission published the reports and analysis of the progress made in April 2019 by Facebook, Google and Twitter to fight disinformation. The three online platforms are signatories to the Code of Practice against disinformation and have committed to report monthly on measures taken ahead of the European Parliament elections in May 2019.
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, declared at the May plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) that “the Commission has been pushing for digital taxation because we need a global solution; it’s unacceptable that some companies pay taxes and others don’t”. Vestager also suggested that the Commission is considering requiring big companies to share data with their rivals to open up competition.
The final draft legislative text is available.
On 24 and 25 April 2019, at the old Customs House in Hamburg, 54 companies backed by the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot had the opportunity to pitch and present their business cases and to engage in one-on-one business meetings with representatives from some of the leading Corporates in Europe. The multi-corporate event was promoted by the EIC pilot together with comdirect.
The EIC Corporate Days promote business opportunities between big corporates – which are always looking for innovative solutions to improve their products and services – and the SMEs funded by the EIC pilot.
“I believe that we must make much better use of the great opportunities offered by digital technologies, which do not know any borders. To do so, we will need to have the courage to break down national silos in telecoms regulation, in copyright and data protection legislation, in the management of radio waves and in the application of competition law. That way, we can ensure that consumers can access services, music, movies and sports events on their electronic devices wherever they are in Europe.” – Jean-Claude Juncker
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.
Following the EU Elections, it will be clear if online platforms were used to influence the outcome. Newly elected MEPs will have the opportunity to review the future strategy for the media sector, ensuring its sustainability and support to democracy.
Keynotes and two panels will handle the following questions:
What are the lessons learned from the 2014-2019 mandate? Did the EU Elections campaign provide new insights? How can policymakers best regulate the platforms? Is a ‘carrot’ or ‘stick’ approach more desirable?
Does a healthy EU media sector require subsidies or a balanced ecosystem? Which policy mix is required for 2019-2024? Could it help deliver a ‘European Public Space’?