HA II – A Europe fit for the digital age

Also here, the Commission looks towards 2030 goals with the ambition of creating a roadmap such as for “connectivity, skills and digital public services”. The clear principles which the EU institution looks to keep as its mantras are the “right to privacy and connectivity, freedom of speech, free flow of data and cybersecurity”. This should remain in any business’ mind which processes customer data not least because this policy train of thought led to big data policy and data protection. Looking at 2021, there is the ambition to

introduce “legislation covering the safety, liability, fundamental rights and data aspects of artificial intelligence and a Data Act to set the right conditions for better control and conditions for data sharing for citizens and businesses”. Another is the ambition to review EU competition rules to adapt to, for example, increasing digitalisation of markets. Furthermore, something that I will definitely keep a close eye on is the Commission’s ambition to achieve an international tax system agreement that is based on fairness and the ability to get sustainable revenues. If it does not achieve this result, it will look to propose a digital levy in the first half of the year.

And, it looks like there will be an

European e-ID sooner than later. A proposal is already planned for the first quarter.

HA III & IV – An economy that works for people & A stronger Europe in the world

Something I find very unfortunate is a negative perception about policy output from the EU specifically with regard to the belief that there is a lack of socially beneficial policy coming from the institutions. There is, for example, the aim of “reducing children poverty and

inequalities by ensuring that all children have access to basic services like health and education” and “a new EU strategic framework on health and safety at work”. Furthermore, a review for trade policy is highlighted with a view of creating an instrument “to deter and counteract coercive actions by third countries”. There was a public consultation this year thereto and some interesting questions pertained to trade dependencies, market access for SMEs, multi-lateral trade platforms, unfair trading practices, and, of course, digitalisation as well as green technologies. And, if you are interested, there will be a (non-legislative) Communication on the Arctic. I don’t expect gambling to be an element therein though. Also worth a mention, is the proposed legislation on corporate governance with a view of looking at “sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour”.

HA V & VI – Promoting our European way of life & A new push for European democracy

Crisis preparedness, migration and asylum, combatting antisemitism, disability rights, combatting gender-based violence, cross- border judicial cooperation are key elements in terms of expected legislative and non- legislative ambitions. Another reason to commend an EU institution which does not seem to be very good at marketing itself. Don’t get me wrong, I have my judgements too. In light of better regulation, a high-level platform will be created to support the Commission in finding solutions for policy simplification and a reduction in unnecessary regulatory burdens. It is called the “Fit-for- Future” platform. I hope it is a chance for business to breathe a little more freely. On that note, have a great Christmas and

see you in the New Year! Greetings from Brussels

DECEMBER 2020 23

Novikov/Adobe Stock

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