European Commission Focuses On E-Commerce; Driving Digital Activity

The European Commission has come out with a mid-term review of its Digital Single Market strategy that is geared toward reducing the barriers to eCommerce and driving digital activity across Europe.

According to a report in TechCrunch, the main priorities of the European Commission is encouraging the free flow of non-personal data across Europe; beefing up cybersecurity defenses and dealing with online platforms that run afoul of laws by imposing unfair contract clauses or enable the spread of illegal content.

In the case of data, TechCrunch reported the European Commission said it’s introducing legislature on the free flow of non-personal data across borders, which will come out in the fall. That initiative will be based on free movement of data, porting data and the availability of certain data for regulatory control.

What’s more, TechCrunch reported the European Commission said it is also interested in increasing accessibility and the reuse of public and publicly funded data in areas including public transportation and public utilities. Legislation on the topic could come out in the spring of 2018, noted the report.

The European Commission also said in the report that it will work on other emerging data issues and that it will review the EU Cybersecurity Strategy and the mandate of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security by September so that it is aligned to the new EU framework on cybersecurity.

The mid-term review report comes just days after the European Commission said it could look to have a more centralized role in overseeing derivatives, which are complex financial contracts, when they are denominated in euros.

According to a report in The New York Times, the European Commission also “suggested” it could require that clearing houses, which serve as the middleman for derivatives transactions, have to be located within the European Union. If the rules go through, the paper reported it could force clearing houses for derivatives to be regulated by the European Commission, even once the U.K. exits the EU, or it could force the clearing houses to relocate a portion of their operations to prevent business from going to competitors.


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