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European Commission proposes a Declaration on European Digital Rights and Principles

On the 26th of January 2022, the European Commission proposed to the European Parliament and Council to sign up to a declaration of rights and principles that will guide the digital transformation in the European Union.

  • The draft declaration on Digital Rights and Principles aims to give everyone a clear reference point about the kind of digital transformation Europe promotes and defends. It will also provide a guide for policy makers and companies when dealing with new technologies. The rights and freedoms enshrined in the EU’s legal framework, and the European values expressed by the principles, should be respected online as they are offline. Once jointly endorsed, the Declaration will also define the approach to the digital transformation which the EU will promote throughout the world.

The draft declaration covers key rights and principles for the digital transformation, such as:

Chart with symbols representing the 6 key digital rights proposed in the Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles

Placing people and their rights at its centre

Supporting solidarity and inclusion

Ensuring the freedom of choice online

Fostering participation in the digital public space

Increasing safety, security and empowerment of individuals

Promoting the sustainability of the digital future

Next Steps

The European Parliament and the Council are invited to discuss the draft declaration and to endorse it at the highest level by the end of summer 2022.

Background

On 9 March 2021, the Commission laid out its vision for Europe’s digital transformation by 2030 in its Communication on the Digital Compass: the European way for the Digital Decade. In September 2021, the Commission introduced a robust governance framework to reach the digital targets in the form of a Path to the Digital Decade.

The declaration also builds on previous initiatives from the Council including the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment, the Berlin Declaration on Digital Society and Value-based Digital Government, and the Lisbon Declaration – Digital Democracy with a Purpose for a model of digital transformation that strengthens the human dimension of the digital ecosystem with the Digital Single Market as its core.

Authors

European Commission (EC)

Branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.