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Shaping Europe’s digital future
Call for tenders | Publication

Commission launches foresight study on the future of online platforms

The European Commission has launched a call for tender for a two-year participatory foresight study into the future of online platforms.

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Search engines and online platforms such as social media services, or online marketplaces have become central to life and business in the EU. Recent landmark rules under the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act make up the world’s first comprehensive regulatory framework for online platforms. These rules will protect user safety online, upholding the highest standards for freedom of expression, and ensure fairness and contestability in online platform ecosystems.

The Commission is now launching a major foresight study to analyse long-term trends and perspectives to ensure that the EU’s regulatory framework for online platforms is implemented in a forward-looking manner, and to inform and support the monitoring that will underpin the Commission’s work in this area.

The tenderer must design and develop a comprehensive foresight process for ten specific topics that will be identified in collaboration with all of the Commission services.

One example of an emerging trend for in-depth investigation is the concentration of economic power in the digital domain. In this context, the changing role of the firm and the position of EU SMEs in industrial supply chains should be specifically investigated.

Other priority topics include the future of personal data use and online identity in the digital platform economy, including the development of metaverses, augmented reality and the future of social media. The study will also examine long-term issues around the future of global standard-setting in digital, the future of government-as-a-platform and the future of intellectual property ownership.

This work will contribute to the Commission’s global outreach on platform regulation and the future of the Internet.

The deadline for the submission of tenders is 22/09/2022 at 16.00 hours CEST. The call reference is: CNECT/2022/OP/0049.