Removing illegal content online: Commission calls for more efforts and faster progress from all sides
Several Commissioners will meet tomorrow in Brussels with representatives of online platforms to discuss progress made in tackling the spread of illegal content online, including online terrorist propaganda and xenophobic, racist or hate speech as well as breaches of intellectual property rights. The meeting will be a good opportunity for a frank and open exchange about progress made and lessons learned. Vice-President Andrus Ansip, Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Věra Jourová, Julian King and Mariya Gabriel issued a joint statement ahead of the meeting, saying: “The Commission is counting on online platforms to step up and speed up their efforts to tackle these threats quickly and comprehensively, including closer cooperation with national and enforcement authorities, increased sharing of know-how between online players and further action against the reappearance of illegal content. We will continue to promote cooperation with social media companies to detect and remove terrorist and other illegal content online, and if necessary, propose legislation to complement the existing regulatory framework.” The full statement is available here. Tomorrow’s meeting follows the Commission guidelines and principles for online platforms presented in September 2017 to increase the prevention, detection and removal of illegal content online. Further details are available here.
EU strategy on Iraq: new proposal to strengthen support to the Iraqi people
Today, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission adopted a Joint Communication proposing an EU strategy for Iraq in order to address the many challenges the country faces following the territorial defeat of Da’esh. The proposal outlines both ongoing and longer term EU support to the country, fully taking into account the Iraqi government’s priorities. The High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “It is now crucial to act quickly and rebuild the country with the participation of all the components of Iraqi society […]. This needs international support and we are ready to contribute, to keep supporting the Iraqi people and government in these challenges, for the sake of the people of the country and the region”. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “The EU has been at the forefront in providing emergency assistance to the Iraqi people since the beginning of this crisis. I’ve seen first-hand the suffering of civilians from places like Mosul and Fallujah and it is crucial that all aid efforts continue to be impartial and neutral. It is essential to support all Iraqi’s in need of assistance today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes.” Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica added: “As Iraq takes steps towards a more stable future, the EU is committed to being a key partner in reconstruction, stabilisation and longer term sustainable development. The EU aims to strengthen concrete support to the Iraqi people in a wide range of areas, to foster economic growth, good governance and strengthening the judicial system as well as boosting education.” Read the full press release here.