Members of the European Parliament (MEP) on Wednesday called for modern rules for online platforms and marketplaces, including a binding mechanism to tackle illegal content online, the European Parliament said in a press release.
During a virtual sitting of the European Parliament MEPs approved a regulation on digital services in the EU through its Digital Services Act (DSA) package due to be presented to the European Commission in December.
MEPs approved two separate legislative initiatives prepared by the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection and Committee on Legal Affairs, and a non-legislative resolution by the Civil Liberties Committee focusing on fundamental rights issues.
With the upcoming package, the European Union aims to shape the digital economy at EU level as well as setting the standards for the rest of the world, as it did with data protection. The current EU rules for digital services have remained largely unchanged since the e-commerce directive was adopted twenty years ago, a press release on the EU website notes.
45% of citizens in Croatia and 71% of EU citizens buy online
Croatian MEP Biljana Borzan worked in preparing the legislative initiatives.
"The last directive on e-commerce was adopted 20 years ago. Since then a lot has changed and it is necessary to adapt the rules and protect citizens. This document sets the foundations for important legislative amendments introducing the principle: illegal offline is illegal online. Foreign companies doing business in the EU will have to respect the new European rules on online consumer protection," Borzan explained in a press release.
Stricter rules regarding Internet advertising were adopted too. "The online marketplace is estimated to be valued at €64.8 billion. In Croatia, more than a quarter of its companies advertise online. That can be a very useful tool, particularly for smaller companies to reach out to clients but citizens have to know how their data is being used, why some advertisers approach them and who is paying them and they should be enabled to simply switch off that type of analysis," she said.
More than 71% of EU citizens shop online. According to the latest information about 45% of Croatian citizens shop online. In the first six months of 2020, online shopping in Croatia increased by 13.9% which can be attributed to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.