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EU Political Update

Talking Tech Highlights: 3-7th October 2016

27 April 2017

A weekly review of political developments in the European Union

Previous Week's New Developments

Digital Single Market: Industry Committee MEP's debate whether revised 'fair use' safeguards are fair

On 26 September 2016, Industry Committee MEP's debated the revised 'fair use' policy with respect to the proposal to end roaming charges for travellers in the EU.

The latest draft proposes safeguards for identifying and dealing with abuses by customers who, for example, systematically resell low-price SIM cards for permanent use in other Member States. Generally, the new measures were well received by the Industry Committee. However, concerns were raised over how these would work in practice. MEPs pointed to the need to outline in greater detail the procedure for stopping and dealing with an identified abuse, and the role of national regulators in the process of enforcing the 'fair use' policy.

The European Commission has responded to questions raised by MEP's last month. The implementing act is scheduled to be approved by 15 December this year and 'Roam like at Home' - where customers pay domestic prices, irrespective of where they are travelling in the EU – should become reality for all European travellers in June 2017.

Digital Single Market: MEPs examine the risks and opportunities of big data

On 26 September 2016, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs examined the implications of using big data on privacy, data protection, non-discrimination, security, and law enforcement.

Big data refers to large volumes of data produced by a range of sources including sensors, purchase transaction records, GPS signals and the internet. The value of the big data market is expected to reach EUR 50 billion and to create 3.75 million new jobs by 2017.

During the meeting, Ana Gomes, a Member of the European Parliament for Portugal, acknowledged the opportunities created by a data-driven economy but emphasized that big data can pose significant challenges to fundamental rights such as privacy and data protection. Gomes outlined the risks associated with big data, for example the risk of disclosure of personal data as a result of security breach or without the prior consent of the individual, as well as the risk of discrimination by service providers on the basis of individuals' data.

Gomes is in the process of drafting an own-initiative report on big data. The report is expected to focus on transparency with regard to the value and use of data and the methods of collecting and processing information. Gomes proposed that "individuals should have up to date meaningful right of access to information about the processing of their data". MEPs will vote on Gomes' report during a future plenary session.

This week in the Institutions 
European Commission

03 Oct. 16

  • The Commission will organise an info day on Horizon 2020 'Smart grids and storage'. The event targets potential applicants to the calls for 'Smart Grids and Storage' projects, which will be funded under the 2016-2017 Horizon 2020 work programme ' Secure, clean and efficient energy
  • Commissioner Günther Oettinger will be in Lisbon to participate in a 'Going local' event on the Digital Single Market and will deliver a keynote speech at the event

06 October 

European Parliament 

04 October 


  • Commission statement on the future for telecommunications, fair use and intra-EU calls
EU Political Update

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