The EU Digital Market Regulations: Rule-Maker or Deal-Breaker?
At its 2021 Annual Conference in Sweden, the Jean Monet Network:Trade & Investment in Services (TIISA) in collaboration with The Ratio Institute and Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum organised a Policy Roundtable of experts from academia, politics, and business to discuss the relationship between the EU's legislative initiative for the internal market and developments in international trade governance, notably the JI on E-Commerce:
Is it the EU's comparative advantage to be a leader in regulating these areas?
How are the EU's relations with the outside world affected?
The starting point for the discussion is the question of whether the EU succeeds in taking on the role of an international "rule-maker" or whether the EU risks becoming a "deal- breaker". The conversation centered around two main topics:
- Privacy and cross-border data flows,
- digital markets, service trade and competition.
The discussion took place under Chatham House Rules.
Privacy and Cross-Border Data Flows
The EU is a rule-maker on privacy in the sense that its sheer market size is sufficient for major firms to comply with EU rules in the way they conduct business anywhere. In this sense, the General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) has advanced towards being a global privacy standard. On the other hand, the GDPR has proven to be difficult to interpret in a predictable way, making compliance harder and potentially creating a regulatory moat and raising barriers especially to small and medium-sized firms (SMEs and start-ups, but also to less digitally savvy firms. One issue that was repeatedly raised was the definition and delineation of what constitutes personal data. Thus, what may be hailed as a success in setting a legislative standard, may also prove to have unintended or adverse effect in the market
About the authors
Hildegunn Kyvik Nordås: Visiting Professor, Örebro University, Sweden and Senior Associate, Council on Economic Policy (CEP), Switzerland.
Magnus Lodefalk: Associate Professor, Örebro University, Sweden and affiliated with the Ratio Research Institut and the Global Labor Organization.
Joakim Wernberg: Research Director, Digitalisation and Tech Policy, Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum and Senior Lecturer, Society and Technology, Lund University.
The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein
This work is licensed under Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
IIT is a global leader in researching, analysing and commenting on International Trade.
Stay informed about our up-and-coming seminars, events, publications, awards, new projects and collaborations, and other exciting news.