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Source: Government of Norway

The Norwegian Government has submitted Norway’s contribution regarding the EU’s announced regulation of digital platforms, the Digital Services Act. The contribution makes it clear that Norway supports the EU’s initiative to develop a new regulatory framework for digital platforms.

The EU has begun the task of regulating digital platforms, such as Facebook and Amazon. The planned regulation, the Digital Services Act (DSA), will form an important part of the EU’s new digital strategy.

The aims of the regulation are to facilitate the safe use of digital platforms and other digital services, and assess the platforms’ responsibility for their content, their role as a gatekeeper, freedom of expression and consumer rights. The first step in putting forward proposals for common EU regulation is a public consultation.

The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation has carried out a process which has resulted in the provision of collective contribution from Norway to the EU concerning the DSA. A digital contribution meeting has been held with relevant stakeholders. There have also been a number of written submissions.

Stakeholders that have submitted written contributions are Telenor, the Norwegian Media Businesses’ Association, Schibsted, the Consumer Council, NRK, the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), Abelia, ICT Norway, the Norwegian Board of Technology, the National Parents’ Committee for Primary and Secondary Education, the Norwegian Association for the Blind, and the National Association for the Hard of Hearing.

Norway supports the EU’s initiative to develop a new regulatory framework for digital platforms, and the view that the new framework should be built on the fundamental principles of the current Electronic Commerce Directive.

Among other things, this entails the continuation of the principles of limited liability for service providers when acting as intermediaries, and a requirement for the rules applicable in the country of origin to be followed.

The Norwegian contribution further underlines the importance that the new regulatory framework must not lead to disproportionate regulatory burdens for small and medium enterprises. However, the contribution also refers to the importance of addressing relevant safety concerns and the need to combat crime.

Norway also believes that no obligations should be introduced for digital platforms which could cause content from edited media to be censored and freedom of expression to be harmed. Norway also recommends stronger protection of consumer rights on digital platforms. In addition, the need for universal design within digital solutions and measures to prevent hate speech against people with disabilities is underlined.

The Position Paper is available here.

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