Published 17 December 2012
Updated 16 March 2016

The Code of EU online rights has been published today as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe actions. The Code compiles the rights and principles under EU legislation protection EU citizens and consumers when going online.

--- Posted by Tomas Soria, Policy Officer, DG CONNECT Regulatory coordination and users' unit.

The Code of EU online rights has been published today as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe actions. The Code compiles the rights and principles under EU legislation protection EU citizens and consumers when going online.

The Digital Agenda for Europe acknowledges the difficulty for citizens to be fully aware and understand their existing rights in the digital environment. Today, consumers do not entirely trust cyberspace and as a consequence do not take full advantage of online services available.

Nevertheless, European citizens enjoy a series of rights that are relevant to the digital environment, such as freedom of expression and information, protection of personal data and privacy, requirements for transparency and universal telephone and functional internet services and a minimum quality of service. However, these existing rights are scattered across various EU legal instruments and are not always easy to grasp. The Code intends to raise awareness and understanding about key digital rights of EU citizens.

As the Code does not create new rights, it is not by itself be enforceable; but the particular rights and principles are enforceable under the EU legal instrument from which they derive, which has been transposed and implemented into national legislation in the different EU Member States.

The Code makes easier for EU citizens and consumers to know the existing EU legislation as regards online rights, inspires trust and confidence among consumers when acceding and using online services and applications, and encourages consumers to conduct more activity online.

The Code of EU online rights can be consulted in the DAE website where is also available in 22 EU languages. A simplified version with easy examples - your online rights – is also available in these languages in the Your Europe website.