Recap of Past Event: Beyond Content Removal

On 17 May 2021 EuroISPA hosted its second online event in the DSA in Focus series, which focused on provisions in the Digital Services Act (DSA) going beyond the notice and action processes, such as measures on codes of conduct, the know your business customer principle, trusted flaggers, and risk mitigation for very large online platforms (VLOPs). You can watch the full recording of the event here or below.

The event, which was made possible by LINX, featured a distinguished expert panel which examined the topic in great detail. It included Mr Prabhat Agarwal, Head of Unit in charge of E-Commerce and Platforms at DG CNECT in the European Commission, Mr Marco Pancini, Director of Public Policy at YouTube, as well as Ms Heleen Uijt de Haag, Deputy Director at the Dutch Digital Economy Department within the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. EuroISPA’s President Alexandra Laffitte moderated the panel, whilst Malcolm Hutty, Chair of EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability, framed the conversation with introductory remarks.

Malcolm Hutty opened the session with several questions for the panel and general remarks. He welcomed the KYBC’s focus on marketplaces, and stressed the importance of codes of conduct. When it comes to the role of trusted flaggers, he challenged the proposal, asking whether the “concept loses value if the right to decide who is trusted is removed from the operator”. As regards risk mitigation and VLOPs, he stressed that the provision, as currently drafted, would risk to create uncertainty for businesses, as the list of risks is currently open ended.

When illustrating the Commission’s chosen regulatory approach, Prabhat Agarwal recognised the success of self-regulation in addressing emerging phenomena swiftly. However, he explained that the limitations of self-regulation have made it necessary to make binding some of the existing voluntary frameworks. In this respect he noted: “We continue to think that coregulation plays a crucial role and the DSA is not the end of it”.

Marco Pancini provided the audience with interesting details about YouTube’s trusted flaggers’ programme. He said that, thanks to such systems, whenever platforms receive referrals from experts these are taken into account with the appropriate level of priority. He pointed out that “YouTube’s  goal is to leverage positive exchanges with experts, improving the quality of our content moderation activities”.

Heleen Uijt de Haag welcomed the Commission’s proposal, describing it as well-balanced. She appreciated that the main principles of the E-Commerce Directive, such as the limited liability for service providers and the county of origin principle, are maintained. When referring to the topic of trusted flaggers, she said that “we need safeguards to ensure the mechanisms are not abused, as this could have detrimental effects on freedom of speech online, and the right to privacy”.

Panellists then had an open discussion with the audience, focussing on issues such as the modalities to appoint trusted flaggers, the know your business principle, and ways to tackle disinformation in the context of the current pandemic.

EuroISPA would like to extend its gratitude to the speakers for sharing their insights on the new DSA, contributing to yet another successful DSA in Focus event. We look forward to our third session, which will take place in June, and which will focus on reporting obligations and transparency in the context of the DSA.

For further information on the upcoming events visit our dedicated webpage on

DSA in Focus: Beyond Content Removal

Join us for our upcoming online panel discussion of our 2021 series DSA in Focus: Beyond Content Removal. This is the second in a series of six events running from April until the end of 2021, in which we will be exploring and debating the main aspects of the Digital Services Act with policy experts. To secure a spot, please register here.

After our first event, which focused on notice and action procedures, our second panel discussion will examine measures going beyond content removal.

Our panellists, hailing from the public and the private sector, will talk about the DSA provisions on codes of conduct, the know your business customer principle, trusted flaggers, and risk mitigation for very large online platforms. They will debate the objectives of these measures, practical challenges for implementation, and possible ways forward.

As the Council and the European Parliament are intensifying discussions on the DSA, this event will provide an opportunity for an exchange of ideas between policymakers, civil society, and industry representatives.


  • Opening remarks: Mr Malcolm Hutty, Chair of EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability Committee
  • Moderation: Ms Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA
  • Round-table discussion with:
    • Mr Prabhat Agarwal, Head of Unit, E-Commerce and Platforms, DG CNECT, European Commission
    • Mr Marco Pancini, Director Public Policy at YouTube
    • Ms Heleen Uijt de Haag, Deputy Director Digital Economy Department, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, The Netherlands
  • Q&A with audience
  • Closing remarks

Don’t miss out, secure a spot here!

DSA in Focus: The New Notice and Action Regime

Our first event in the DSA in Focus series, taking place on 7 April 2021 at 10h30 CEST, will examine the new provisions in the DSA aiming to improve the management of illegal content online.

We will discuss the new provision on own-voluntary investigations, the differences between general and specific monitoring, as well as the limited liability regime. Panellists will also share with the audience their views on the future harmonised notice-and-action procedures.

This debate will provide a platform to exchange informed perspectives between policymakers, civil society, and industry representatives.


  • Opening remarks and moderation: Ms Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA
  • Round-table discussion with:
    • Ms Dita Charanzová, MEP, shadow rapporteur on the Digital Services Act
    • Ms Henna Virkkunen, MEP, rapporteur for opinion on the Digital Services Act
    • Mr Malcolm Hutty, Chair of EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability Committee
    • Ms Iverna McGowan, Director at the Centre for Democracy and Technology
  • Q&A with audience
  • Closing remarks

To secure a spot, please register here.

Dinner Debate at the European Parliament: “Tackling Terrorist Content Online”

Brussels, European Parliament – 23 January 2019: MEP Julia Reda hosted a dinner debate, jointly organised by the Greens/EFA and EuroISPA, at the European Parliament on tackling terrorist content online. The event offered a platform of discussion on the proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online, with an emphasis on moving towards workable solutions for all stakeholders involved.

Representatives from the EU and international Institutions, civil society and industry exchanged views on the proposal during the dinner. Julia Reda MEP, Rapporteur for the Opinion of the Internal Market and Consumer Committee (IMCO), opened the debate, giving an overview of the proposal, and concluded her speech stating that “we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we attacked cornerstones of our liberal democracy such as the right to freedom of expression as a knee-jerk reaction to terrorists who are trying to undermine those very values”. Hans Das, the Head of the European Commission’s Unit dealing with the fight against Terrorism and Radicalisation, stressed that the proposal addresses important societal challenges posed by terrorists’ use of the internet to incite, recruit and train their followers. In this context, given the speed and scale of the terrorist threat online, a joint effort by both governments and online platforms is required.

Diego Naranjo, Senior Policy Advisor at EDRi, provided the point of view of civil society, stressing that “the proposal legislates on undefined proactive measures that can lead to an authority requesting a general monitoring obligation. As it stands, it poses serious risks to violate individuals’ fundamental rights”. Charlotte Altenhöner-Dion, Head of the Internet Governance Unit, Council of Europe, focused on the importance of a well levelled approach in respect to human rights. She stated that “the spread of terrorist content online constitutes a serious threat to the safe exercise of human rights. Yet, counter-terrorism measures should not go beyond what is necessary to maintain peace and security, nor should they disproportionately restrict the freedom of expression or subvert the rule of law”.

Malcolm Hutty, Chair of the Intermediary Liability Committee of EuroISPA, presented EuroISPA’s position, focussing on the compatibility of the proposal with the E-Commerce Directive. He also noted that “the obligation to remove terrorist content online within one hour upon receipt of the orders, especially in connection with the lack of a verification system for law enforcement requests, would not work in practice for SMEs, effectively pushing them out of the market and decreasing diversity of services offered online. Ultimately, European consumers would be worse off”.

The stimulating discussion with the participants following the presentations was focused on the issues of upload filters and algorithmic bias, fundamental rights safeguards, and investment in prevention measures and culture.

EuroISPA would like to extend its thanks to the speakers for their presentations and for the stimulating discussions. EuroISPA looks forward to continue engaging on this dossier to work towards a European legislative framework which effectively fights terrorist content online.

Lunch Debate at the European Parliament: “Cross-Border Access to E-Evidence: Solutions for a European Approach”

Unity on the aim of the e-evidence dossier, but diverging stakeholder views on the proposed mechanism

On 27th September, MEP Dalton hosted a lunch debate, organised by EuroISPA, at the European Parliament on cross-border access to electronic evidence, bringing together representatives from the Institutions, civil society and industry. The Commission proposal foresees a new system for the pan-European exchange of data between Internet Service Providers and law enforcement authorities to enable them to effectively proceed with criminal investigations requiring information from the online sphere. The far-reaching proposal, to which EuroISPA has actively contributed in the past three years, touches upon a number of sensitive issues in respect to national sovereignty, rule of law and fundamental rights safeguards.

During the debate, representatives from the EU Institutions, and EuroISPA, presented their views on the file and engaged in discussion with attendees. Deputy Head of the Cybercrime Unit in DG HOME, Cathrin Bauer-Bulst, stated “We need to equip law enforcement authorities with 21st century methods to tackle crime, just as criminals use 21st century methods to commit crime. To meet this aim, the Commission has proposed new tools which would enable competent authorities to gather e-evidence quickly and efficiently across borders, while ensuring robust safeguards for the rights and freedoms of all affected.” Judith Hester, of the Austrian Presidency, highlighted that “In the digital age, a legal basis for direct cooperation with service providers is essential for the protection of the area of freedom, security and justice. Council is intensively discussing aspects concerning fundamental issues, such as the appropriate level and timing of involvement of another Member State. We are focussing on effective legal remedies and the right to information, secure channels of data transmission in addition to cost reimbursement.”

Vice-President of EuroISPA, Maximilian Schubert, underscored ISPs’ understanding of judicial authorities’ need for efficient data exchange. However, any new system requires a sound legal basis, taking into account existing fundamental rights safeguards. “An SME exemption with more flexibility in time frames for executing orders received by the ISP is essential. Authentication, integrity and security are paramount. This is vital to maintaining consumer trust, thereby enabling Europeans to optimally profit from ongoing digitalisation”, said the EuroISPA Vice-president.

The discussion following the presentations was centred upon the issues of cost reimbursement, the general question of the necessity of the proposed measures, as well as instances of the real-life significance of the principle of dual criminality, demonstrated by examples from recent international cases.

EuroISPA would like to extend its thanks to the speakers for their remarks and for a thought-provoking discussion. EuroISPA looks forward to continue engaging on this important file towards a mechanism that works for all players in the Internet ecosystem.

Stakeholders briefed on key intermediary liability issues at EuroISPA BOZAR event

The exhibition space of Brussels’ BOZAR EXPO was the scene of intense policy discussion on Monday 11 May, as policymakers and industry stakeholders gathered for EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability in the Digital Single Market briefing. The lunch event featured a keynote speech by Mrs Jasmin Battista, Member of Cabinet, Commission Vice-President Ansip.

Mrs Battista took the opportunity to brief attendees on the Commission’s thinking regarding the Digital Single Market strategy, particularly in the context of the liability of intermediaries. The event was attended by over 70 key stakeholders. Participants included policymakers in the European Commission and Parliament, high-level digital policy officials from the Belgian government, as well as representatives from leading industry players and stakeholder associations.

In addition to engaging with an authoritative Commission official on the nuances of the Digital Single Market strategy, attendees were also offered the unique opportunity to partake in a guided tour of the Google Cultural Institute. The Institute, which celebrates the fusion of technology and culture, is currently on tour at BOZAR from its home in Paris.

Speaking at the event, EuroISPA President Oliver Süme said: “EuroISPA is delighted to have had the opportunity to welcome Mrs Battista to our policy discussion at BOZAR. As someone deeply involved in the crafting of the DSM strategy, Mrs Battista brings unrivalled insight into the Commission’s thinking. We look forward to hosting similar such events in the future, events that encourage deep policy discussion among the many stakeholders in Europe’s digital transformation.”

EuroISPA organizes Panel at HostingCon Europe

This year, HostingCon is expanding to Europe for the first time with an event in Amsterdam on the 14th and 15th of October. Following the successful panel that EuroISPA organised at EuroDIG, EuroISPA will support the first HostingCon in Europe with the organization of panel discussion. The discussion will be on the subject of data protection revision and particularly the debated Right to be forgotten.

The association will be represented by EuroISPA’s Vice-President, Bart-Jan van Dijk , who will moderate the discussion and the panel will include speakers from various fields: Marisa Jimenez, Government Affairs and Policy Senior Counsel at Google, Professor Gerrit-Jan Zwenne from the University of Leiden; Jens-Henrik Jeppens from the Center for Democracy and Technology and last but not least, Gabriele Viebach, Founder and Managing Director of Pactas GmbH and Director Emerging IT at Diplomatic Council.

HostingCon is the premier North American event that provides essential industry knowledge and education on an unbiased platform. Its attendees are from all areas of the web hosting and cloud services industry from startups to global giants. HostingCon selects the industry’s most vital issues and presents the community with a relevant, new agenda every year.

You can find further information about the event here.