Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedNovember 30, 2023

Belgian Presidency Should Close Tech and Digital Files Responsibly, Not Rush

Brussels, BELGIUM – As Belgium gets ready to assume the helm of the Council of the European Union on 1 January 2024, close to a dozen priority files in the field of EU tech and digital policy should top the agenda, a new roadmap shows. 

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) unveiled its roadmap with 11 key recommendations for the Belgian EU Presidency today. 

With EU elections looming in June, the incoming Belgian Presidency has a significant task ahead, and is set to play a critical role in wrapping up negotiations on many important files during the first half of 2024. 

Although negotiations on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act are still ongoing, for example, it’s already clear that Belgium will play a crucial role in either reaching a final deal on the AI Act, or starting discussions on the implementation and enforcement of this landmark regulation. 

Likewise, the Belgian Presidency will have to oversee the completion of new rules to fight child sexual abuse (while at the same time ensuring Europeans’ privacy is not undermined) and to protect the open internet from new attempts at double dipping by telecom operators.

The CCIA Europe recommendations for Belgium’s EU Presidency focus on three critical areas: breaking down barriers to digital trade, embracing tech innovation, and making sure digital rules protect and benefit all Europeans.

The following can be attributed to Senior Vice President and Head of CCIA Europe, Daniel Friedlaender:

“As Belgium takes on the EU Presidency in January, CCIA Europe stands ready to support the Presidency in delivering outcomes that promote more innovation and competition. Now that our sector is regulated with dedicated instruments, it’s more important than ever to work together to understand how to implement new rules and build on them constructively.”

“Given that the terms of the current European Parliament and Commission are ending, the Belgian EU Presidency has the unenviable task of ensuring negotiators strive for the best possible outcomes on key digital policies.”

“Despite the pressure-cooker situation, we urge the Belgian Presidency not to succumb to pressure. Sacrificing future-proof digital legislation for quick deals ahead of the EU elections would be a disservice to Europe.”

Notes for editors

CCIA Europe’s 11 key recommendations to the Belgium EU Presidency are available here.

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