The Slovenia Times

Digital minister happy with EU presidency achievements

Daily news

Ljubljana - Mark Boris Andrijanič, the minister for digitalisation transformation, finds Slovenia has attained many successes in his brief during its term at the helm of the EU. He noted in particular the digital services act, the declaration on digital rights and principles and the first ministerial conference of the Three Seas on digital transformation.

Addressing reporters on Thursday, Andrijanič noted the value of the consensus on the digital services act reached on the Council in November given "the exceptional complexity of the legal text and sensitivity of the subject".

The act brings an ambitious reform of the European digital space, the first of the kind globally, introducing a comprehensive set of new rules for digital platforms acting as gatekeepers and for their services with a view to better protecting consumers against illegal content, products and services.

Listing issues such as online harassment, spread of fake news and misleading information and cyber threats, the minister noted the act introduced a principle that what is illegal in the physical world is also illegal in the virtual world.

"When it comes to illegal content, the gatekeeper platforms are responsible for their removal once they are notified of them," he said.

"Since our citizens expect and deserve a safer, more open and trustworthy internet, I believe the regulation will be adopted as soon as this year," he added. In that case it would take effect in 2023.

Andrijanič also noted the in-depth political debate on digital rights and principles held in Brussels in December based on which the European Commission will form a final proposal of the declaration for all key EU institutions to sign.

The declaration is to pave the way for a sustainable and secure digital transformation, centred on people and European values. As key digital rights the minister noted freedom of expression and free access to trustworthy information. He also highlighted privacy protection and universal access to digital skills and gigabit internet.

As part of its presidency of the Council of the EU, Slovenia also hosted the first ministerial conference of the Three Seas initiative on digital transformation. It was dedicated to development of a single digital market and cross-Atlantic cooperation. The next such conference will be held during the Czech presidency in the second half of the year.

"Our presidency of the Council of the EU has proved that even a small country can be an effective and successful mediator between all member states," said Andrijanič, attributing much of the credit to the team at the Permanent Representation in Brussels.


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