Together for Europe’s recovery: Programme for Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU
[Digital agenda] On 1 July, Germany took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. Its strategic agenda focuses on sustainable economic and social recovery in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis. Digital transformation and climate change mitigation will remain key priorities for the German Presidency.
Digital sovereignty has been set as a leitmotiv with focus on security, skills, leveraging data, investment in digital capacities as well as supporting the Commission’s work on the digital finance strategy: “Europe must become better able to take action and shape events in the field of new technologies. Common European standards and norms must support the development of these technologies.” Read more
Shaping Europe’s digital future – European Council adopts conclusions
[Digital agenda] On 9 June, the Council adopted conclusions on shaping Europe’s digital future, addressing a wide range of issues related to the implementation of the EU digital strategy.
The topics covered include data policy and cloud, Artificial Intelligence, enabling technologies and digital value chains (supercomputing, quantum technologies and cloud computing), cybersecurity, 5G/6G and connectivity, environmental sustainability, Digital Services Act, electronic identification and trust services, public administrations, standards and blockchain, skills and education.
The Council conclusions also highlight the impact of the digital transformation on fighting the pandemic, and its critical role in the post-COVID-19 recovery. Read more
EC launches public consultation on the NIS Directive
[Cybersecurity] On 7 July, the EC launched a public consultation on the revision of the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (the NIS Directive).
In context of the rapidly evolving cyber-threat landscape, the Commission seeks stakeholders’ views to further improve cybersecurity preparedness.
The consultation is open for comment until 2 October 2020. Read more
GDPR: EC publishes an evaluation report
[GDPR] On 24 June, the EC published an evaluation report on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), two years after its entry into application. The assessment revealed that the GDPR has met most of its objectives and identified a number of areas of improvement.
Issues that will require further work relate to the fragmentation in the application of the regulation among Member States, inconsistencies between EDPB guidelines and national guidance, challenges arising with respect to the use of emerging technologies.
The report includes a list of actions to further support the GDPR application.
The next GDPR evaluation report will be published in 2024. Read more
ECJ decision on the validity of the EU-US data transfer agreement
[Privacy Shield] On 16 July, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) will determine whether Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) are legitimate as a mechanism to transfer data under the GDPR.
This also raises a question about the level of protection of personal data transferred in accordance with the EU-US Privacy Shield.
Businesses rely on SCCs as a mechanism for transfers of personal data from the EU to the US. Read more
European Supervisory Authorities contribute to the EC new Digital Finance Strategy for Europe:
EBA supports the Commission’s proposal for a new Digital Finance Strategy for Europe
[FinTech] The EBA supported the EC’s initiative to present a new Digital Finance Strategy. It stressed the need for stronger coordination mechanisms to support authorities in supervising innovative cross-border, and cross-sectoral, business models. According to the EBA, as new business models emerge, new supervisory models may be needed to ensure operational resilience and consumer protection.
Comprehensive and ongoing monitoring of the application of innovative technologies in the financial sector as well as knowledge sharing will be instrumental to identify risks and opportunities to enable supervisory and regulatory authorities to take a timely action. Read more
ESMA response to the EC FinTech consultation: A more competitive and innovative financial sector
[FinTech] ESMA welcomed technological innovation in the financial sector. It sees new forms of services and businesses such as automated advice or crowdfunding as a positive evolution as long as they are aimed at improving consumer financial experience and facilitate financial inclusion.
ESMA stressed that any EU policies aiming to ensure the financial sector takes advantage of cutting-edge technologies, while remaining sound and safe for investors, need to integrate the principles of technological neutrality, proportionality and market integrity.
ESMA focused on the following topics of specific relevance to them:
- AI and big data analytics for automated advice and businesses
- Outsourcing and cloud computing
- Distributed ledger technology
- Role of regulation and supervisors; and
- Role of industry: standards and interoperability
EIOPA responds to the EC Digital Finance Strategy
[FinTech] EIOPA indicated that it is important to strike a balance between the opportunities and risks arising from new technologies in order to enable the industry and consumers to reap the benefits arising from financial innovation.
EIOPA advocated for a common incident reporting framework at European level. Currently, insurers and supervisors are challenged in properly assessing and quantifying risks due to the lack of an adequate level and quality of data on cyber incidents at a European level. Read more