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Achievements of the Presidency of the EU Council in the field of digitisation

At today’s press conference, Minister of Digital Transformation Mark Boris Andrijanič outlined the achievements and progress of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the field of digitalisation. The Minister described the presidency as extremely successful, especially in the field of safe online navigation.

“During the presidency of the Council of the European Union, Slovenia managed to achieve many successes in the digital field. After many harmonisations, the November Competitiveness Council managed to confirm the general approach to the text of the Digital Services Act,” emphasised Minister of Digital Transformation Mark Boris Andrijanič regarding the act as an ambitious reform of the digital space, introducing a comprehensive set of new rules for digital intermediary platforms and their services with the aim of better protecting consumers from illegal content, services and products.

In a time of rapid development of intermediary platforms, we can witness mass phenomena such as online harassment and humiliation of individuals, the dissemination of untrue and misleading information, and cyber threats. “The Regulation therefore introduces a principle that everything that is illegal in the physical world is illegal online, which means that we will navigate with the same certainty, security and trust in online services and content, as we do in the physical world,” explained Minister Andrijanič. In this spirit, the act sets out new obligations for intermediary platforms and new rights for their users.

In the case of illegal content, the broker platform is responsible for removing it when it is notified of such content. The regulation also addresses the issue of harmful but legal content, such as hate speech, prohibits the use of various methods of misleading users and ensures greater transparency in advertising. The ads will thus have to be marked in such a way that the user understands why a particular ad is displayed to him and who its payer is.

During the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the political debate on digital rights and principles was also important. “I am pleased that we also had an in-depth political debate on digital rights and principles during our presidency. Based on this debate, which took place in Brussels in December, the European Commission will draw up a final draft of the declaration, which will be signed by all the key European institutions,” said Mark Boris Andrijanič and continued that this declaration aims to ensure a sustainable and secure digital transformation focused on human and European values. At the press conference, the Minister emphasised that the key elements within digital rights are freedom of expression, free access to credible information, protection of personal data and privacy, and universal access to digital skills and the gigabit Internet.

As the presiding country, on November 30th, 2021, the Government Office for Digital Transformation, in cooperation with the Atlantic Council and the Centre for European Future, organised the first Ministerial Conference of the Three Seas Initiative on Digital Transformation, dedicated to digital single market development and transatlantic integration. The High Representatives of the Three Seas countries presented good practices aimed at promoting and strengthening digital skills, especially for older internet users and training digital skills to teachers and stressed the need to strengthen European semiconductor production and increase European digital sovereignty and autonomy. The discussion also highlighted the impact of new technologies, especially the opportunities and challenges posed by artificial intelligence, and called for increased investment in digitalisation and closer cooperation in the region.

“With our presidency of the Council of the EU, we have shown and proved that even a small country can be an effective and successful mediator between Member States,” said the Minister, thanking the excellent team at the Permanent Representation in Brussels, which is largely responsible for all the successes achieved.


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