LIBE I Action Plan

Motion for an Action Plan by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs I

Balancing the scale of Data: Data is the lifeblood of the digital economy however there have been calls across Europe to ensure digital sovereignty — whereby states protect their citizens and businesses from the challenges of self-determination in the digital sphere. How can the EU and other European countries promote sustainable technological growth while also ensuring digital sovereignty in this sphere?

Submitted by: Bade Akın (TR), Deren Bulut (TR), Rania Derweesh (RO), Riezwaan Dinmahomed (NL), Sofia Federico (IT), Manzoer Gulzar (NL), Matilde Paquete (PT), Agnieszka Podstolak (PL), Daria Primavarus (RO), Enzal Youx (NL); Anastasia Khairova (Chairperson, HR)

Context

The EU is increasingly dependent on geopolitical competitors and powerful tech companies to provide digital services and store data of EU citizens. This poses a threat to the democratic principles that underlie the EU as well as the long-term competitiveness of the European digital economy. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the EU to enhance its digital sovereignty in order to ensure its prosperity and autonomy.

The European Youth Parliament recommends taking the following actions on the

Individual and local level

  1. Encourages European citizens to utilise products and services owned by European businesses;
  2. Reminds citizens of their right to be forgotten, provided by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  3. Draws attention to initiatives, such as the “Terms of Service; Didn’t Read”,  directed at rating website privacy policies in order to make them more accessible to European citizens;

National level

  1. Calls upon companies with an online presence in the European Economic Area (EEA) to create a summary of cookie policies accessible to all citizens, regardless of age or level of education; 
  2. Further encourages Member States to implement Informations and Communications Technology (ICT) lessons in primary and secondary schools;
  3. Invites Member States to reform the curricula with the aim of raising awareness on the importance of data security and the harms resulting from possible violations;
  4. Suggests that Member States sponsor expert-led information sessions about data security for the general public by 2023;
  5. Supports further use of data servers located in Member States;
  6. Welcomes the use of standardised European software in governmental organisations of Member States; 
  7. Urges Member States to increase investments in technology and science in order to create a European telecommunications company and network;

European level

  1. Commends the efforts of the European Commission to increase industrial and non-sensitive data sharing between companies and national governments;
  2. Appeals to the European Commission to further regulate the recognition of online paid political advertisements;
  3. Endorses the European Commission’s efforts in funding programmes such as VentureEU that support digital start-ups;
  4. Further invites the European Commission to subsidise European digital companies and start-ups on the condition that their business practices satisfy a level of transparency accredited by the Commission;
  5. Expresses its appreciation for projects such as Gaia-X that promote digital sovereignty and innovation;
  6. Approves the creation of the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC) aimed at improving the coordination of research and innovation in cybersecurity in the EU;
  7. Reminds the European Commission to review the ePrivacy Directive (ePD) to ensure that all communications over public networks respect high level of data protection and privacy;
  8. Further urges the European Commission to consider the introduction of regulatory guidelines applicable in health or financial service sectors, given the lack thereof in the GDPR;
  9. Considers more thorough implementation of fines for companies operating in the EU that commit privacy violations.

Main aims

EU citizens have to be provided with education on the topics related to data protection as it is becoming an everyday issue. The EU needs technology companies that will be able to efficiently and sustainably compete with global powers, while establishing grounds for technological advancements in accordance with European values. It is crucial to ensure more transparency about data collection and its usage, while making sure that the key players have access to the open data they need.