Skip to main content
Shaping Europe’s digital future
Call for tenders | Publication

Digital Services Act: Call for tenders for a support contract on systemic risks stemming from very large online platforms and search engines

The European Commission has launched a call for tenders for a contract to support the implementation and enforcement of the Digital Services Act (DSA) on the assessment and mitigation of systemic risks stemming from very large online platforms and search engines (VLOPS and VLOSEs).

Digital Services Act inside a white triangle against a green blue background

Over a period of four months, the support contract should yield information on the most prominent and recurrent systemic risks stemming from VLOPS and VLOSEs designated under the DSA. It should also provide information on best practices to mitigate those risks.

The Commission has launched the call for tenders in light of the requirement under the DSA that the European Board for Digital Services and the Commission must publish a report on systemic risks and their mitigation once a year. The first such risk assessment report will be published in February 2025 at the latest. 

With the DSA, the EU has laid down ground-breaking rules to address online risks to individuals and societies. This Regulation contributes to the proper functioning of the internal market for intermediary services by setting out harmonised rules for a safe, predictable and trusted online environment that facilitates innovation and in which fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, are effectively protected. Article 34 of the DSA requires providers of designated VLOPs and VLOSEs to conduct risk assessments to identify, analyse and assess systemic risks in the EU stemming from the design, functioning or use of their service.

Four main categories of risks are explicitly mentioned: 

  • Dissemination of illegal content
  • Any actual or foreseeable negative effects on the exercise of fundamental rights
  • Any actual or foreseeable negative effects on civic discourse and electoral processes, and public security
  • Any actual or foreseeable negative effects in relation to gender-based violence, the protection of public health and minors, and serious negative consequences to the person's physical and mental well-being

Providers of VLOPs and VLOSEs must carry out the risk assessments at least once a year and before deploying functionalities that are likely to have a critical impact on the risks identified, such as updates to recommender systems or new content policies. The providers must also adopt risk mitigation measures in response to the identified risks. Such measures must be reasonable, proportionate and effective. They have to be specific to the systemic risks and providers should pay particular consideration to the impacts of the measures on fundamental rights.

More information and instructions on how to submit the tender can be found on the eTendering portal. This call opened on may 30 and will close on 15 July 2024 (deadline extended).

Read more information about: