Competitiveness Council to discuss regulation of digital giants, internet user safety and research, innovation and space issues
The EU Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels on 25−26 November will focus on the regulation of activities of the largest digital companies and improvements to safety of users of various online intermediation services. The agenda for space issues includes the financing of companies in the sector and the management of space transport.
Finland’s representative at the Council will be Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen and State Secretary to the Minister of Economic Affairs Jukka Ihanus. The ministers responsible for the internal market and industrial policy will discuss two legislative projects related to digital operators. The Council will adopt a general approach on both of them.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) will address unfair trading practices of digital giants which companies and consumers encounter when using online platforms. The regulation would apply to 10−15 largest companies providing platform services in the EU.
“We support the Commission’s proposal for a digital market regulation and its objective of creating a fair digital single market. It is important to Finland that the obligations concerning platform companies are clear. The proposal’s objective of harmonising EU regulation must be preserved in further negotiations,” Haatainen says.
Another topic under discussion is the Digital Services Act (DSA), which will add new due diligence obligations to internet intermediation service providers and very large online platforms. The aim is to increase user safety and the openness of online platforms in terms of what content and advertisements users see, for example. The aim is to increase the responsibility of service providers concerning possible illegal content in the service.
The ministers will also discuss the implementation of the European recovery plan.
SMEs encouraged to enter the space sector
The Competitiveness Council will continue on 26 November with a meeting of ministers responsible for research, innovation and space affairs. The ministers will discuss research and innovation to achieve multi-sectoral objectives. The Council will adopt conclusions on the governance of the European Research Area and the Council’s recommendation on a Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe.
As regards space, the meeting will focus on the long-term development of funding so that new operators, including start-ups, will have better access to the growing market.
“The space sector is growing and Finland has a lot of expertise in it. However, accessing the space sector requires more capital than on average and encouraging new companies to enter the sector therefore requires both private and public funding,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.
The promotion of sustainable use and development of space are included in the policy debate and in the conclusions on Space for everyone, which will be adopted at the meeting. The themes are a continuation of the priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
A report on space transport management prepared by the Slovenian Presidency will be presented at the meeting.
Leila Vilhunen, Adviser to the Minister of Employment (EU and International Affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, +358 295 047 120
Nina Alatalo, Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs (EU and international affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 171
Taru Löyttymäki, Senior Specialist (Competitiveness Coordinator), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, +358 295 047 177