Europe’s digital policy: What to expect from the hearing of the incoming tech Commissioner(s)

Europe’s digital policy: What to expect from the hearing of the incoming tech Commissioner(s)


As the dust settles from the European elections and the allocation of Commissioner portfolios what can we expect to learn for digital policy in the upcoming hearings in the European Parliament? For digital-related Commissioners,
the first question that will come to the mind of the MEPs during the
hearings is who is responsible? While Margrethe Vestager is
the Executive Vice President we’ve also seen strong input from
Sylvie Goulard and Didier Reynders. This begs the question of who will
be responsible for digital policy. There are at least eight Commissioners, Vice
Presidents or Executive Vice Presidents that can provide input into the
next mandate’s digital policy. The next big part of the hearings
for the Commissioner designates will be focused on the policy
issues facing the tech sector. First and foremost will be platforms. With the summer of leaks
around the Digital Services Act MEPs will be wondering what
the Commission’s plans are for the review of the much
maligned e-Commerce Directive. We’re also going to be
looking at artificial intelligence. Von der Leyen made a
very ambitious promise that she would deliver regulation
on AI in her first 100 days. MEPs are waiting with anticipation as
to how she can deliver legislative policy at a rate much faster than the
Commission’s ever seen before. The next big take away
from the hearings will be looking at the
European Parliament directly and finding out what
committees will lay claim to platforms, and artificial
intelligence and other policy files. The last EU elections brought a
significant turnover to these committees. In the IMCO Committee, 78% of the
MEPs are new to that committee’s work. For JURI, 69% are new to that committee. And for LIBE 71% are new. This means that they have lost
influential tech-focused MEPs including Daniel Dalton
and Julia Reda. And it’s an opportunity for
new MEPs to raise their hands as this generation’s
tech policy experts. No matter how the
hearings progress it’s clear they will be setting up a
digital battle for the next five years.

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