CDT Europe has joined European Digital Rights (EDRi) and other civil society organisations in a public statement calling on the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to cease potentially undermining the EU’s democratic process in the context of the ongoing interinstitutional negotiation, by introducing new provisions outside their agreed mandates.
The signatories express concerns regarding a “crisis response mechanism” established in the new Article 27a of the Digital Services Act (DSA), proposed recently within the context of the trilogue negotiations.The mechanism would empower the European Commission to unilaterally declare an EU-wide state of emergency, which may enable far-reaching restrictions of freedom of expression and of the free access to and dissemination of information, as well as raises Rule of Law concerns. The letter also raises concerns about the proposal to include a new Article 25a that would empower national Digital Services Coordinators (DSCs) to impose, the same risk mitigations obligations foreseen for Very Large Online Platforms to smaller online platforms, which could lead to a much wider application of the already overly broad measures in Article 27a.
From the letter:
“While we support the political goal to encourage online platforms to do the right thing in times of crisis, the new ”crisis response mechanism” for the DSA is not the right mechanism. The proposed mechanism is an overly broad empowerment of the European Commission to unilaterally declare an EU-wide state of emergency. It would enable far-reaching restrictions of freedom of expression and of the free access to and dissemination of information in the Union.”