Insights European Commission launches consultation and discussion on establishing a set of EU Digital Principles


As a follow-up to its Digital Decade Communication of 9 March 2021, the Commission has launched a public consultation on the formulation of a set of principles to promote and uphold EU values in the digital space. The consultation, open until 2 September 2021, seeks to open a wide societal debate and gather views from citizens, non-governmental and civil society organisations, businesses, administrations and all interested parties. These Principles will guide the EU and Member States in designing digital rules and regulations.

On 9 March 2021, the Commission set out its vision for Europe’s digital transformation by 2030 in its Communication “Digital Compass: the European way for the Digital Decade“, and proposed compiling a set of Digital Principles, such as ensuring access to: (i) internet services; (ii) a secure and trusted online environment; (iii) digital health services; and (iv) human-centric digital public services and administration. The consultation also covers digital education and skills, ethical principles for human centric algorithms, the protection and empowerment of children and young people in the online space and devices that respect the environment.

The Commission says that the Principles will complement existing rights that already protect and empower Europeans online, such as the protection of their personal data and privacy, freedom of expression, freedom to set up and conduct a business online or protection of intellectual property.

The Principles also go hand-in-hand with the Commission’s recent proposals on Artificial Intelligence, the aim of which is to ensure that use of this technology in the EU is trustworthy and human-centric.

Contributions to the consultation will feed into a proposal from the Commission for a joint inter-institutional Declaration on Digital Principles of the European Parliament, the Council, and the Commission. The proposal is expected by the end of 2021. To read the Commission’s press release in full and for a link to the consultation, click here.