European Commission – 2020 work program published

The European Commission adopted 2020 work program on 29 January 2020. The program outlines new initiatives that will be proposed, existing laws that will be reviewed and initiatives that will be removed in 2020. The document does not mention any possible new advertising specific legislation. However, the European Commission will look into new rules on intermediary liability and online safety for digital platforms (online advertising could be in the scope of the proposal), Artificial Intelligence and various initiatives on Green New Deal. The Commission will evaluate Regulation on nutrition and health claims and Directive on the distance marketing of consumer financial services. Furthermore, the European Commission will present a new Consumer Agenda and European Gender Equality Strategy (stereotyping could be addressed in the strategy). You can find the work program here.
©European Commission 2020 (available here)

Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union – Croatia starts its Presidency to the EU

Croatia started their six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 January 2020. Croatian Presidency listed the following four prioritiesA Europe that develops, a Europe that connects, a Europe that protects and an influential Europe”. Also, Croatia underlined the importance of responding to threats such as disinformation online. Furthermore, Croatia will continue work on Collective Redress Directive (more updates are available under one of the following news items) and organise a conference to raise stakeholder awareness on consumer issues and encourage cooperation amongst consumer policy and consumer supervising bodies. After Croatia, Germany will start its six-month term on 1 July 2020.
©European Council, Council of the European Union 2020 (available here)

Artificial Intelligence – Leaked version of White Paper on Artificial Intelligence published

The EU focused news outlet Euractiv published a leaked version of European Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to the document the European Commission is considering five possible regulatory options for AI: “Voluntary labelling, sectorial requirements for public administration and facial recognition, mandatory risk-based requirements for high-risk applications, safety and liability and governance”.  Although the paper recognizes positive impact of AI it also underlines possible challenges and concerns linked to liability, discrimination and transparency. These issues could be addressed in a regulatory framework. You can find more information here. The white paper is expected to be officially adopted by the European Commission on 19 February 2020. According to 2020 work program mentioned above, the European Commission will later in 2020 also propose a legislative act on AI that will address issues such as safety, liability, fundamental rights and data.
©European Commission 2020 (available here)

Gender Strategy – European Commission to publish Gender Equality Strategy in March

The European Commission is currently preparing a new Gender Equality Strategy. The strategy will address issues such as gender-based violence, pay equality and work-life balance. Previous public consultations identified gender stereotypes as one of possible areas that will be addressed in the strategy. The European Commission is currently collecting feedback for Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2024 and is also expected to soon initiate public consultations. You can find more information here. According to the European Commission agenda, the strategy is expected to be officially presented on 4 March 2020.
©European Commission 2020 (available here)