Today, MEP Marietje Schaake released her report calling for an EU Digital Trade Strategy.
Norm-makers vs norm takers
Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE): “We risk ending up as a rules-takers instead of rules-makers if we do not act now. We cannot afford to lose time, when private companies like Alibaba are proposing the creation of virtual free trade zones, and NAFTA-countries are negotiating digital trade chapters in NAFTA 2.0. The EU should take the lead in shaping values-based rules for digital trade.”
Countering protectionism 2.0
Schaake: “In an interconnected world there can be no place for digital protectionism. New barriers such as unjustified forced data localisation measures, or forcing companies to hand over the source codes of their products, should be prevented.”
Data is the backbone for the new economy, yet the European Commission has not been able to present a position on cross-border data transfers and unjustified data localisation requirements.
Schaake: “Time is running out. We need an EU position before the end of the year, that fully respects our data protection standards. This will also require a revision of the adequacy decision process. We need public and detailed binding procedures for reaching these decisions.”
Schaake believes the EU has a unique change to promote digital rights in digital trade chapters of trade agreement. She is working on ensuring the rule of law integrally applies online.
Schaake: “Trade rules should help to improve digital rights through provisions on net neutrality, forced data localisation, encryption and intermediary liability protections in trade agreements. That way, they can have a strongly beneficial impact on the protection of freedom of speech.”