What marketers should expect from the European Commission’s 2023 Work Programme

On 18 October, the European Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2023, paving the ground for an ambitious political agenda for the next year. The Commission’s priorities for 2023 comprehensively aim to address the current complex geopolitical situation and its economic implications as well as to pursue the EU’s traditional long-term goals and interests in the areas of climate change, digital transformation, social market economy and global influence.

As most of the new initiatives have a horizontal scope, FEDMA has highlighted the forthcoming initiatives that may affect the data and marketing sector. You can read the full programme here.

Regulating the metaverse

Among the various initiatives announced in its Work Programme, the Commission’s plan to develop “open human-centric virtual worlds, such as the metaverse” underlines (once again) the EU’s objective to be a frontrunner in regulating an expanding digital sphere.  Back in September, Commissioner Thierry Breton announced the Commission’s intentions to regulate the metaverse, ensuring a level-playing-field for companies, a protecting digital space for its users, and the necessary technical standards, infrastructures and materials for its functioning. As such, the Commission is expected to lay out a non-legislative initiative as of Q2 2023.

Improving the Single Market

Moreover, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Single Market, the Commission plans to undertake a non-legislative initiative in the form of a Communication in the first quarter of 2023, to identify implementation gaps in the EU and draw up future priorities in this area.

In the area of corporate taxation, the Commission aims to set a single set of tax rules for doing business in Europe, thus fostering better coherence for corporate taxation, and a more effective allocation of profits between EU Member States by means of a formula designed for the purpose. Named BEFIT (Business in Europe: framework for income taxation), the legislative proposal is expected in the second half of of 2023.

Closing pending initiatives

In addition to new legislative proposals, the Commission will keep working on EU legislative pending files relevant to the data-driven marketing industry. Despite the significant delays and slow progress, the proposed ePrivacy Regulation remains in the EU legislative pipeline. A stronger political push to close this file might be expected following the adoption of current high priority legislative initiatives, including the Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA) where one of the proposed amendments aims to include online advertising in the list of high risk AI, as well as the Data Act with its objective to foster data sharing across the EU.

Finally, the Commission is still embarked on the mission to adopt the proposal on political advertising transparency in the second half of 2023 to ensure that the new rules will be in place before the next EU elections in 2024.

As part of FEDMA’s mission, we will keep carrying out our advocacy and monitoring activities on these topics.