The Commission has proposed a declaration of rights and principles to the European Parliament and Council that is intended to guide digital transformation in the EU.
The European Commission has prepared a draft declaration on digital rights and principles with the aim of providing a clear reference point on the kind of digital transformation which Europe promotes and defends. In March 2021, the Commission laid out its vision for Europe’s digital transformation by 2030, of which this draft declaration plays a major part. The declaration also builds on previous initiatives from the Council including the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment, the Berlin Declaration on Digital Society, among others. The European Parliament and the Council have both been invited to discuss this draft declaration, and to endorse it at the highest level by summer of 2022.
The declaration covers key rights and principles for the digital transformation of the EU.
The draft declaration places people and their rights at its centre, supports solidarity and inclusion, ensures freedom of choice online, and fosters participation in the digital public space. With key rights and principles for digital transformation at the heart of this initiative, the aim of this draft decision is increasing safety, security and empowerment of individuals, and promoting the sustainability of the digital future. It seeks to improve the everyday lives of Europeans by providing access to affordable and high-speed digital connectivity everywhere, well-equipped classrooms and teachers who are digitally skilled, as well as seamless access to public services, and an overall safe digital environment for children. The declaration also fosters the ability to disconnect after working hours, obtain easy-to-understand information on the environmental impact of our digital products, and control how personal data is used and with whom it is shared.
The declaration on digital rights and principles is rooted in EU law and builds on previous initiatives from the Council.
A few years ago, former European Parliament President David Sassoli promoted the idea of access to the Internet as a new human right. European digital laws are geared towards accessibility for individuals, not just to the internet but to the ability to exercise their basic human rights in the digital sphere. EU laws promote the protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, and this draft declaration builds on this core goal. The draft declaration promotes a model of digital transformation that strengthens the human dimension of the digital ecosystem and has the Digital Single Market as its core. It builds on several previous initiatives by 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, furthering the overall aim of guiding digital transformation in the EU and protecting its citizens in the digital sphere.
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