EU institutions reach a political agreement on the Digital Services Act

What is the context?

On 23 April 2022, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional political agreement on the proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market For Digital Services (known as the Digital Services Act, DSA). Together with the Digital Markets Act, the DSA will set the standards for a safer and more open digital space for users and a level playing field for companies for years to come.

As a reminder, in December 2020, the European Commission published the Digital Services Act Package, which includes two significant proposals:

  • the DSA mentioned above, which will also aim at amending Directive 2000/31/EC (the “e-Commerce Directive”),
  • the proposal for a Regulation on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector, known as the Digital Markets Act (or “DMA”).

Under the DSA, intermediary services, namely online platforms - such as social media and/or marketplaces - will have to take measures to protect their users from illegal content, goods and services. In particular, providers of hosting services shall put in place mechanisms allowing any individual or entity to notify them of the presence on their service of specific items of information that the individual or entity considers illegal. These mechanisms must be easy to access, user-friendly, and allow for the submission of notices exclusively by electronic means.

What is the next step?

The political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council is now subject to formal approval by the two institutions. The DSA will apply fifteen months after entry into force or from 1 January 2024, whichever is later.

For more information on the DSA (key obligations, supervisory framework, sanctions), please read our broader article Focus on European Commission’s proposal for a Digital Services Act.

For more information with regard to the DMA, please read our article Regulating fair market behaviour in digital markets.