Plenary speech 19/01/2022 – digital services act

Thank you, Mr President!

Madame Executive Vice-President



“The rapid and widespread development of digital services has been at the heart of the digital changes that impact our lives. Many new ways to communicate, shop or access information online have appeared, and they are constantly evolving. We need to ensure that European legislation evolves with them.” This is a quote from Commission`s statement and I fully agree to it. The question is – how we legislate.

I come from Estonia – a Member State that is known for digital lifestyle and that has been offering thousands of online services to its citizens  already for a quarter of a century. I have experienced benefits of digital services and I understand the risks. 

The objective of the Digital Services Act is to create:

– a safer digital space where the fundamental rights of users are protected, 

– secure online services are provided and 

– a level playing field for businesses is established.

I would like to congratulate my good colleague Christel Schaldemose for her extraordinary work and thank all colleagues for their contributions. 

The proposed text is good and balanced but there is still room for improvement. 

In the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, we have focused in particular on issues related to digital privacy, targeted advertising and content moderation. 

We now have the possibility to take much needed action in all three of these areas and to put citizens’ rights at the centre of the framework. 

On targeted advertising, it is essential to have greater transparency. I would urge colleagues to support measures to ensure that there is clear consent for behavioural advertising, and that this does not involve sensitive personal data. 

Increasing the choice and transparency of recommender algorithms may seem obscure, but this is crucial to reduce disinformation and empower citizens to control the information they are receiving. 

When moderating content, we support stronger safeguards to ensure that upload filters do not become mandatory and that, where automated tools are used, qualified staff decide on any action to be taken.

I would like to ask colleagues to support the amendments tabled by the LIBE committee. 

To conclude, we have the example of the GDPR. I hope that also with the DSA the EU will set global standards for the regulation of technology. 

Thank you.

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