Competitiveness Council (Internal market and industry)

Main results

Digital Markets Act

The Council unanimously agreed on a general approach on the proposal for a Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to create a digital level playing field, with clear rights and obligations for large online platforms.

Zdravko Počivalšek, Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology

With the Council’s agreement on both the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act, we have accomplished one of the key priorities of our presidency. We believe that we, the European Union, are leading by example with the regulation of the digital market, which will lead to a more competitive digital space and a fairer business environment.Zdravko Počivalšek, Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology

Ministers emphasised the importance of the DMA, and pointed to the need to regulate large online platforms and to the need for a proposal that ensures legal certainty and is futureproof.

Some member states emphasised they do not wish this proposal to be watered down during negotiations with the European Parliament, and most ministers supported the European Commission as sole enforcer of the regulation. The importance of allowing SMEs to get their innovations onto the market and of having a level playing field for all businesses was also mentioned by many delegations.

Ministers broadly agreed that the proposal presents a fair and balanced compromise that establishes a strong mandate for the negotiations with the European Parliament, which are scheduled to start in 2022.

Digital Services Act

The Council agreed on a general approach on the proposal for a Digital Services Act (DSA). The main aim of the DSA is to keep users safe from illegal goods, content and services, and to protect their fundamental rights online. The proposal also modernises part of the e-commerce directive from 2000.

Mark Boris Andrijanič, Slovenian Minister for Digital Transformation

The Digital Services Act will change the EU’s digital sphere enormously, creating a safer and fairer online space for EU citizens. Together with the DMA, this proposal is at the core of the European digital strategy, and we are convinced it will restore citizens trusts and increase consumer protection.Mark Boris Andrijanič, Slovenian Minister for Digital Transformation

During the public session, ministers expressed their support for the proposal and emphasised the importance of having a safer digital space, based on the principle of ‘what is illegal offline, should also be illegal online’.

While emphasising the importance of innovation and the need to react swiftly while safeguarding quality, ministers broadly agreed that the text constitutes a balanced compromise.

Most member states welcomed the enhanced protection of minors, and several member states emphasised the importance of the country-of-origin principle.

This general approach will be the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament, which are scheduled to start in 2022.

Recovery plan for Europe

Ministers held a policy debate on the recovery plan for Europe. They discussed the state of play of member states’ implementation of national recovery and resilience plans, as well as approaches to the preparation of the plans.

Ministers explained the challenges they foresee in the implementation of the plans, such as the current supply shortages in the field of semiconductors and raw materials, as well as the current labour market shortage. Many member states welcomed the European Commission’s upcoming Chips Act and the proposal for a second IPCEI on microelectronics.

Competition policy

The European Commission updated ministers on a communication on a competition policy that should be fit for new challenges. This competition policy review was adopted by the European Commission on 18 November. It outlines the contribution of competition policy and of its review to green and digital transition and to a resilient single market.

Fit for 55 legislative package

The Slovenian presidency provided an update on the state of play in the examination of the different elements of the Fit for 55 package of climate-related legislative proposals.

The Fit for 55 package is a set of interconnected proposals adopted by the Commission on 14 July with the aim of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

The Competitiveness Council has a key role to play in making sure that the EU delivers on the agreed level of ambition that the package proposes, and could provide guidance by addressing challenges and opportunities for businesses arising from the transition towards climate neutrality.

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