EU Watch: Encouraging debate about EU values and efficiency.


Digital Policy

Regulating the internet


With the General Data Protection Regulation and other legislative instruments, the European Union has become one of the leading regulatory bodies for the internet in recent years. In addition, Brussels has imposed hefty fines on large IT companies for abusive behaviour and dared to confront big multinationals such as Google, Facebook or Amazon. 

Recently, the European Commission proposed two new pieces of legislation, the Digital Market Act and the Digital Services Act. Their aim is to further harmonize EU-wide rules and to strengthen platform governance.

Another aim is to curb the hegemony of dominant multinationals and force them to become more transparent about how content is ranked, advertised and removed.

Many fundamental principles of the EU are at stake here. Content monitoring to prevent the proliferation of hate speech is controversial, as is the role of artificial intelligence and algorithms in policing platforms. T

EU Watch aims to:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of EU regulations and actions  
  • Encourage debate between the platforms, consumer groups and regulators
  • Ask if the decision-making process in Brussels on this issue is open and democratic

We will ask to what extent IT companies can and should limit political discourse on their platforms, to what extent they actually succeed, and to what extent the fundamental rights of citizens are protected against abuse.

Does the Brussels overreach and destroy the free internet, as some allege? Or is a free internet a danger because it undermines the rule of law and puts people at the mercy of powerful American and Chinese business interests?