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EU Policy. Six EU countries pressed to appoint platform watchdogs

The first meeting of the Digital Services Act Board
The first meeting of the Digital Services Act Board Copyright Xavier Lejeune/(c) Xavier Lejeune
Copyright Xavier Lejeune/(c) Xavier Lejeune
By Cynthia Kroet
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The European Commission opened infringement procedures today.

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The European Commission today (24 April) opened infringement procedures against Estonia, Poland and Slovakia because they have not yet designated their Digital Services Coordinators, the national regulators needed under the EU’s platform regulation.

The deadline for establishing these watchdogs – who are the online platform's main point of contact in helping the European Commission with collecting evidence on implementation of the Digital Services Act (DSA) – was 17 February.

In addition, Cyprus, Czechia and Portugal also received a formal Commission letter because they did not empower their regulators with the necessary powers and competences to carry out their tasks, including the imposition of sanctions in cases of non-compliance, the Commission said.

“Fully empowered Digital Services Coordinators in each member state are essential for the exercise of the new rights created under the DSA, notably to ensure users can lodge complaints in their place of residence against platforms, to award the status of trusted flaggers and to vet researchers,” the Commission statement said.

The countries have two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. As a possible next step in the infringement process, the Commission may decide to issue reasoned opinions.

Euronews reported in February that while the DSA came into force last August, just a handful of countries had appointed a national regulator by that stage.

Under the DSA, online platforms with more than 45 million monthly average users in the EU must abide by strict rules, such as transparency requirements and the protection of minors online. 

The national coordinators meet with the Commission under the EU oversight board in a bid to streamline national approaches and give users across the Union the same rights.

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