Your consultant

In topic Information Technology:

Dr. Bert Van Roosebeke

Head of Division

+49 761 38693-230


Dr. Martina Anzini

Policy Analyst

+ 49 761 38693-240


Philipp Eckhardt

Policy Analyst

+49 761 38693-241


Anne-Carine Pierrat

Policy Analyst

+49 761 38693-223


Information Technology

In the last few decades, the EU has successfully deregulated the market for telecommunications and the internet. The "Digital Agenda for Europe" and the regulation of roaming prices and network neutrality indicate the formative role which the EU intends to play in the future. cep actively monitors the substantive regulation of the IT markets and efforts to further Europeanise regulatory competence.

Ethics Guidelines for AI (cepPolicyBrief to EU Communication)



The EU Commission wants to promote the development of "trustworthy" and "human-centric" artificial intelligence (AI) in the EU. Therefore, AI should - inter alia - comply with ethical principles. To ensure this, an independent "High-Level Expert Group" has developed non-binding "Ethics Guidelines" (guidelines) on behalf of the EU-Commission which should be followed by developers and users of AI across the EU.

Cybersecurity – Part 2: Certification (Regulation)


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The EU Commission wants to set up a European cybersecurity certification scheme (ECCS) in order to increase confidence in products and services in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. In the light of increasing cybersecurity risks and attacks, it has therefore submitted the proposal for a Regulation.

Cybersecurity – Part 1: ENISA Reform (Regulation)


The EU Commission wants to improve cybersecurity in the EU and for this purpose strengthen the cybersecurity agency ENISA. In cep’s view, this is urgently needed. The proposal to give ENISA a permanent mandate and increasing its funding and staff is also appropriate.

Free Flow of Non-Personal Data (Regulation)


By way of a Regulation, the EU-Commission wants to facilitate the free flow of non-personal data and improve competition between cloud providers and other data-processing services in the EU.

Data Transfers to Third Countries (Communication)


The EU Commission wants to make the transmission of personal data to non-EU countries easier in order to promote mutual trade and effectively combat international crime.

Privacy and electronic communications (Regulation)


The EU - Commission wants a Regulation to protect the confidentiality of electronic communications and related end-user data more effectively and at the same time ensure the freedom of movement of such data. In cep’s view, the envisaged coherence with the General Data Protection Regulation has not been achieved. This results in legal uncertainty which weakens the EU as a location for the data economy.

Harmonising Radio Spectrum Licences (Directive)


The EU Commission wants to further harmonise the rules on the use of radio spectrum. In cep’s view, the long minimum duration of 25 years for time-limited harmonised radio spectrum licences, envisaged by the Commission, should be abolished because, in the technologically fast moving telecommunications sector, it may result in the inefficient distribution of licences.

Universal Telecomms Services (Directive)


The EU-Commission wants to revise the universal service rules in order to enable all EU citizens to have a broadband connection at an “affordable price”. In cep’s view, however, an obligation for universal service providers, to offer social tariffs below market prices in order to give low-income citizens a broadband connection, would be in breach of the freedom to conduct a business.

New types of telecommunications services and end-user rights (Directive)


The EU Commission wants to create a level playing field for providers of conventional and new types of electronic communications services (OTT services) and largely harmonise end-user rights. In cep's view, there is however no justification for the many proposed exceptions for number-independent interpersonal communications services in the area of end-user rights.

Supervision of the Telecommunications Sector (Regulation/Directive)


According to the Commission, there are considerable weaknesses in the existing apparatus for supervising the telecommunications sector which consists of the national regulatory authorities (NRAs), other national authorities, the Commission, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the BEREC Office. It therefore wants to restructure this apparatus.

Access regulation for telecoms network operators with significant market power (Directive)


The EU Commission wants to speed up the deployment of fast telecommunications networks. An access regulation for telecoms network operators with a dominant market position which gives more consideration to competition at retail level will contribute to this. cep welcomes this step but criticises the preferential regulatory treatment given to "very high-capacity networks".

Symmetrical Access Regulation and Termination Charges (Directive)


The Commission wants to extend the regulation of telecoms network operators independently of market power in order to speed up the deployment of very high capacity networks. Upper limits on termination charges will indirectly bring down the price of calls.

ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market (Communication)


The Commission wants to press ahead with the standardisation of information and communications technology (ICT). It is focussing, in this regard, on the "priorities" of cloud computing, the internet of things, 5G communications, cybersecurity and data technologies. In cep's view, setting priorities is appropriate.

Digital Single Market: eGovernment Action Plan (Communication)


The EU Commission wants to push ahead with the digital transformation of public administrations. In cep's view, cross-border eGovernment services facilitate the mobility of citizens and cross-border business operations. The once-only collection of data from companies and citizens increases the efficiency of public administrations.

Audiovisual media and video-sharing platforms (Directive)


In view of the changing media landscape, the Commission wants to revise the rules on the provision of audiovisual media services and video-sharing platforms. In this regard, it proposes the harmonisation of competition rules applicable to television programmes and video-on-demand services. In cep's view, this is appropriate because both media services are in competition with one another.

Contract law for the supply of digital content (Directive)


In addition to online sales of goods, the EU Commission also wants to boost the market for digital content and ensure that it can also be offered and acquired across borders. With the proposed Directive, it wants to fully harmonise the guarantee rights and other consumer rights in contracts relating to the supply of digital content and thereby remove legal uncertainty and promote sales of digital content.

Digital Single Market: European Cloud Initiative (Communication)


The Commission wants to create a European Open Science Cloud, strengthen data infrastructure and invest in quantum technologies. A European Cloud, in cep's view, contributes to the efficiency and quality of research. Success, however, depends on information actually being put in the Cloud.

Digital Cross-border Transmission of TV and Radio (Regulation)


With the new Regulation, the EU Commission wants to facilitate cross-border access to television and radio programmes via digital channels. In cep's view, the Regulation distorts competition because it is framed in such a way that is neither supplier-neutral nor technology-neutral.

Digital Single Market: Digitising Industry (Communication)


The European Commission wants to speed up the digitisation of European industry and calls, inter alia, for an EU-wide network of "Digital Innovation Hubs". These will help small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, to develop digital innovations more easily. In cep's view, public funds should not be channelled into such "Hubs".

Guarantee law for online trade (Directive)


Online traders avoid offering their goods across borders for reasons of cost; consumers are discouraged from online purchases abroad due to uncertainty about their rights. The EU Commission wants to change this by way of the proposed Directive. With full harmonisation of the law on legal guarantees for online sales of goods, it wants to remove legal uncertainty in crossborder online trade and thereby encourage such trade.

Net Neutrality: How European rules can foster innovation


The cep investigates how EU net neutrality rules are best shaped to guarantee innovation. We extend the focus to the upcoming US regulation and conclude with six recommendations to EU policy makers.

Digital Single Market Strategy – Pillar 3 (Communication)


EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has declared that the completion of a Digital Single Market is one of the priorities of his period of office. With the Digital Single Market Strategy, the Commission wants to make the EU the leader of the digital economy. A central pillar of this strategy is the building of a "data economy" (Big Data, cloud services, Internet of Things).

Digital Single Market Strategy – Pillar 2 (Communication)


In its Strategy for a Digital Single Market, the Commission lays down numerous measures to strengthen the European digital economy. This cepPolicyBrief deals with the second pillar of the Strategy (Digital networks and services). It deals, inter alia, with the reform of telecommunications regulations, the examination of the rules on audiovisual media services, online platforms, and with the rules on illegal content on the Internet.

Digital Single Market Strategy – Pillar 1 (Communication)


The European Commission will harmonise the contractual rights of both parties in online purchasing EU wide. In addition, it will submit legislative proposals to prevent "unjustified geo-blocking". Geo-blocking is a technical measure used by online traders to restrict access to cross-border online purchasing by users in a specific geographical location.

Broadband Investment: Non-discrimination, Price Control and Cost Accounting (Recommendation)


The EU Commission wants to promote investment in NGA networks and maintain effective competition on the broadband market. It wants to do this by stricter non-discrimination obligations, greater clarity as to when obligations on price control for NGA networks should be removed and by imposing a standard costing methodology.

Digital Single Market (Part 3) (Regulation)


The EU Commission proposes an extensive overhaul of the digital single market rules. Part 3 of the cepPolicyBrief deals with the rules on roaming and cross-border connections within the EU.

Part 2 of the cepPolicyBrief deals with the notification requirement for telecomms providers, radio frequencies and virtual broadband access.

Part 1 of the cepPolicyBrief concerns net neutrality and the full harmonisation of the rights of end-users.

Digital Single Market (Part 2) (Regulation)


The EU Commission proposes an extensive overhaul of the digital single market rules. Part 2 of the cepPolicyBrief deals with the notification requirement for telecomms providers, radio frequencies and virtual broadband access.

Part 1 of the cepPolicyBrief concerns net neutrality and the full harmonisation of the rights of end-users. The change to the Roaming Regulation and cross-border fixed-network connections within the EU will be considered in Part 3.

Digital Single Market (Part 1) (Regulation)


The EU Commission proposes an extensive overhaul of the digital single market rules. Part 1 of the cepPolicyBrief concerns net neutrality and the full harmonisation of the rights of end-users. Part 2 deals with the notification requirement for telecomms providers, radio frequencies and virtual broadband access. The change to the Roaming Regulation and cross-border fixed-network connections within the EU will be considered in Part 3.

Reducing the Cost of Broadband Deployment (Regulation)


In order to promote the deployment of broadband, the Commission wants to reduce construction costs.

Network and Information Security (Directive)


The Directive aims to ensure a minimum level of network and information security. The Commission wants to impose technical requirements and reporting obligations on certain market operators and public authorities. The Member States are to adopt strategies for network and information security. 

Data Protection (Regulation)


The Commission wishes to reform the EU data protection law fundamentally with the General Data Protection Regulation. It is mainly aimed at an EU-wide full harmonisation of the data protection standard while taking account of the latest technical challenges of the internet age. It is to replace the existing Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC).

Electronic Identification and Trust Services (Regulation)


The Commission wishes to enhance trust in electronic transactions in the internal market. To this end, it proposes a Regulation designed to extend the provisions of the existing Electronic Signature Directive (1999/93/EC) and to complement electronic identification and additional trust services.

Action Plan E-Commerce (Communication)


The Commission wishes to promote the digital single market by setting new framework conditions and removing obstacles. To this end, it presents an action plan.

Mobile Termination Rates (Recommendation)


The Regulation of mobile termination rates has become the arena of a power struggle between the EU-Commission and some Member States. The Commission insists that national regulators should apply the “pure-LRIC”-costing model.

Access Prices and NGA Networks (Consultation)


The Commission is initiating a consultation with the aim to (at first) adopt a non-binding recommendation. The recommendation is to serve as guidance to national regulatory authorities for fixing access prices during the transition phase between copper networks and fibre glass networks.  This approach is to create incentives for investments in ultra-fast NGA networks.

EU-wide Roaming (Regulation)


The Commission proposes new price limits for calls, SMS and data communications services within a foreign EU Member State. These will be gradually reduced until 2014. Service providers are to receive access to networks of mobile network operators in other EU states to offer mobile communications services. Mobile users of roaming services may switch from their roaming provider to an alternative provider “at any moment”.

Data Retention (Report)


The Data Retention Directive stipulates that providers of telecommunications, mobile and internet services are obliged to retain traffic and location data of users. The purpose of this is the investigation, detection and prosecution of “serious crime”. In its Report, the Commission evaluates the Member States’ application of the Data Retention Directive, its benefit and impact. 

Project Bonds (Consultation)


In its consultation paper the Commission presents a model for infrastructure financing („Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative“): Private or public-private project companies issue bonds on capital markets to finance infrastructure (“project bonds”). Limited payment guarantees or credits provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) are to encourage private investors to buy project bonds.

Digital Agenda (Communication)


The “Digital Agenda” designates “key actions” which will facilitate “smarter work” and the establishment of the Digital Single Market. It aims at a sustainable economic and social use of the Digital Single Market, rooted in fast internet connections for EU-wide services.

The Commission names as “key performance targets” for 2015, amongst other things, that 50% of the population buy online, the removal of tariff differences between telephone calls at home and abroad (“roaming”) and an average price per minute of 13 cents (including roaming).

State Aid for the Deployment of Broadband Networks (Guidelines)


The Commission and many Member States have announced to support the deployment of boradband networks as part of their economic recovery packages. This includes not only traditional broadband networks but also new "NGA Networks". However, subsidies (State aid) are subject to certain conditions which the Commission clarifies in its latest Guidelines.

Future Networks and the Internet (Communication)


The rapid development of the internet creates new services and applications. Not only the EU Commission, but also many national politicians call for "broadband access for all" and a quick expansion of high-speed networks in urban areas. The growing use of smart radio tags (RFID technology) storing and transmitting data, enables new applications on the one hand, but, at the same time, raises critical issues as to data protetion on the other hand.

Re-Use of Public Sector Information (PSI) (Communication)


The public sector possesses extensive information such as satellite images, judicial decisions or statistics ("Public Sector Information" - PSI), all of which can serve as raw material for products and services offered by private providers such as navigation systems, weather forecasts or financial services. The Directive 2003/98/EC (“PSI Directive“) is to remove barriers to the private use (“re-use”) of PSI in the internal market. The aim of the Communication is to review the impact thus far of the PSI Directive and to show new ways to tap the full economic potential in re-using PSI.

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