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Internet Policy in the EU

Latest news and information on the Internet policies of the European Union.

Privacy Protection in the EU
The EU regulatory framework for electronic communications comprises a series of legal texts and associated measures that apply throughout the 25 EU Member States. The goals of the new framework are to encourage competition in the electronic communications markets, to improve the functioning of the internal market and to guarantee basic user interests that would not be guaranteed by market forces. The framework provides a set of rules that are simple, aimed at deregulation, technology neutral and sufficiently flexible to deal with fast changing markets in the electronic communications sector.

Europa
EUROPA is the portal site of the European Union. It provides up-to-date coverage of European Union affairs and essential information on European integration. Users can also consult all legislation currently in force or under discussion, access the websites of each of the EU institutions and find out about the policies administered by the European Union under the powers devolved to it by the Treaties.

VAT: special arrangements applicable to services supplied electronically
The objective is to create a level playing field for the indirect taxation of digital electronic commerce for EU and non-EU businesses and to make compliance for non-EU businesses as easy and straightforward as possible. The changes modernise the existing VAT place of supply rules for services to accommodate the electronic business environment and to provide a clear and certain regulatory environment for all suppliers, located within or outside the EU.

Digital Agenda for Europe
The Digital Agenda is Europe's strategy for a flourishing digital economy by 2020. It outlines policies and actions to maximise the benefit of the Digital Revolution for all. To achieve these goals, the Commission will work closely with national governments, concerned organisations and companies. An annual Digital Assembly will bring stakeholders together to assess progress and emerging challenges.

eCommunications - Networks and Services
Services or networks that transmit communications electronically, whether it is wireless or fixed, carrying data or voice, Internet based or circuit switched, broadcasting or personal communication are all covered by a set of EU rules that became applicable on 25 July 2003. The legal framework is aimed at developing and reinforcing the single market, promoting competition and safeguarding public and user interests in the electronic communications sector.

Copyright and neighbouring rights in the EU Internal Market
There has been significant harmonisation of the substantive copyright law in the European Union to reduce barriers to trade and to adjust the framework to new forms of exploitation. Common ground is also needed with respect to the rules on the enforcement of rights, i.e. on access to justice, sanctions and remedies regarding infringements. In order to grasp the full potential of marketing intellectual property rights in the Internal Market, the EU Commission believes that complementary measures on the management and licensing of these rights may also prove necessary. The Internal Market DG's task is to enforce the "acquis" on copyright and related rights; to advance it further and to modernise and adapt it to new developments in technology or the markets concerned as this is an evolving scenario.

European Data Protection Supervisor
The EDPS is an independent supervisory authority devoted to protecting personal data and privacy and promoting good practice in the EU institutions and bodies. It does so by: * monitoring the EU administration's processing of personal data; * advising on policies and legislation that affect privacy; and * co-operating with similar authorities to ensure consistent data protection.