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Shaping Europe’s digital future

The Digital Services Act package

The Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act aim to create a safer digital space where the fundamental rights of users are protected and to establish a level playing field for businesses.

CC0 - Europe Fit for the Digital Age: New rules for digital platforms

The Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Market Act (DMA) form a single set of rules that apply across the whole EU. They have 2 main goals:

  1. To create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected
  2. To establish a level playing field to foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness, both in the European Single Market and globally.

What are digital services?

Digital services include a large category of online services, from simple websites to internet infrastructure services and online platforms.

The rules specified in the DSA primarily concern online intermediaries and platforms. For example, online marketplaces, social networks, content-sharing platforms, app stores, and online travel and accommodation platforms.

The DSA includes specific rules for very large online platforms and search engines. These are online platforms and intermediaries that have more than 45 million users per month in the EU. They must abide by the strictest obligations of the Act. 

The Digital Markets Act includes rules that govern gatekeeper online platforms. Gatekeeper platforms are digital platforms with a systemic role in the internal market that function as bottlenecks between businesses and consumers for important digital services. Some of these services are also covered in the Digital Services Act, but for different reasons and with different types of provisions.

Why are the DSA and DMA necessary?

Digital services impact our lives in many different ways. We use them to communicate with each other, shop, order food, find information, watch films, listen to music and more.

Digital services also make it easier for companies to trade across borders and access new markets.  

While these are some examples of the many benefits of the digital transformation, there are also problems.

Despite a range of targeted, sector-specific interventions at EU level, there are still significant gaps and legal burdens to address at the dawn of the 2030 Digital Decade.

For example, some large platforms control important ecosystems in the digital economy. They have emerged as gatekeepers in digital markets, with the power to act as private rule-makers. Their rules sometimes result in unfair conditions for businesses using these platforms and less choice for consumers.

Another concern is the trade and exchange of illegal goods, services and content online. And, online services are being misused by manipulative algorithmic systems to amplify the spread of disinformation, and for other harmful purposes.

These challenges and the way platforms address them have a significant impact on fundamental rights online.

Therefore, the European Union adopted a modern legal framework that ensures the safety of users online, establishes governance with the protection of fundamental rights at its forefront, and maintains fair and open online platform environment.

Impact Assessments and Public Consultations


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Online platforms and e-commerce

The EU wants to ensure businesses and citizens can use online platforms and e-commerce services no matter where they are in the EU.

Dig deeper

European Board for Digital Services

The European Board for Digital Services is an independent advisory group that has been established by the Digital Services Act, with effect from 17 February 2024.

Digital Services Coordinators

Digital Services Coordinators help the Commission to monitor and enforce obligations in the Digital Services Act (DSA).

See Also

e-Commerce rules in the EU

The European Commission breaks down online barriers so that people can enjoy full access to all goods and services offered online by businesses in the EU.

Online Platforms

The European Commission aims to foster an environment where online platforms thrive, treat users fairly and take action to limit the spread of illegal content.