17 Aug 2022

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Three Seas digital industry appeals to the EP for a safe and welcoming digital space once more

We call on MEPs to avoid developing regulations making the Digital Single Market a hostile, complicated and unwelcoming place for SMEs, consumers and platforms alike. Sticking as close as possible to what was agreed by the IMCO Committee will help ensure we create a level playing field for businesses and a safer digital space for consumers which protects their fundamental rights - reads the appeal addressed to Members of the European Parliament, addressing the amendments proposed to the Digital Services Act, signed by 7 industry organisations from Central Eastern European countries.

Digital and advanced technologies industry organisations from Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia cooperating in the regional CEE Digital Coalition, initiated by Digital Poland Association, have presented the European Union officials with an appeal pointing out comments and concerns regarding the Digital Services Act just ahead of the plenary vote in the European Parliament. The Coalition working for the growth of a competitive, innovative, digital economy and a society ready to face the challenges of the future in the countries of the Three Seas Initiative addressed the amendments proposed in regard to the Digital Services Act, which will affect the day-to-day activity of small and medium enterprises, consumers and online platforms in the EU’s Digital Single Market.

Risky amendments

According to the organisations signed under the appeal, the outcome of works on DSA carried out in the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) was satisfying and resolved many of the problematic elements of the Act previously criticised by the digital industry, which posed a risk for e.g., online activity of SMEs. The latest appeal is a reaction to propositions of amendments aiming to alter the project presented by the IMCO Committee. Authors of the appeal are of an opinion that it is in the best interest of the economies and citizens of Central Eastern Europe to e.g., refrain from imposing a general, indiscriminatory ban on the use of targeted advertising, avoid developing a must-carry obligation for online platforms regarding journalistic content and to reconsider the scope of exceptions allowing for automated removal of content.

Regional organisations were vocal about the European regulation of digital services during previous legislative steps as well. – Our call to the European representatives results from our concerns regarding some of the amendments proposed, which could lead to DSA becoming harmful for all of the players acting in the Digital Single Market. This is not the first time we have commented on the Act, because digital services, which are at the heart of said regulations, are vital to the economic and social growth in our region. Therefore, we appeal to MEPs for developing the Digital Services Act with respect for the rights and the best interest of SMEs, having particular economic significance in the Three Seas Initiative and for the well-being of European users of digital services – Michał Kanownik, president of Digital Poland Association, one of the appeal’s signatories, comments.