Published 3 June 2015
Updated 28 July 2015

The fifth plenary of the Community of Practice for Better Self- and Co-Regulation (CoP) is approaching. German non-for-profit organization "Self-Regulation Information Economy" (SRIW) will present its new study - “Cornerstones of a Digital Regulatory Policy”.

A lot has happened since the last plenary which will make the forthcoming meeting especially relevant. The First Vice President of the Commission has published the Better Regulation Package which gives a lot more emphasis to instruments of self- and co-regulation. Vice President Ansip and Commissioner Oettinger have published the Digital Single Market Strategy providing an ambitious roadmap to reform almost the complete regulatory framework for the digital economy during the coming years. At the same time the European Economic and Social Council (EESC) has passed an opinion on self- and co-regulation in the community legislative framework. So there will be sufficient food for thought and discussion on 12th June.

As Managing Director of SRIW (Self-Regulation Information Economy), I look forward to the presentation of the study “Cornerstones of a Digital Regulatory Policy” in the afternoon session on governance and innovation. This study was commissioned by SRIW and written by Prof. Dr. Thorun (ConPolicy Institute and Quadriga University Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Spindler (University of Goettingen). It will be available in English for the CoP plenary meeting.

The study looks at the regulatory challenges of digital markets and suggests a much stronger use of co-regulation mechanisms and multi-stakeholder forums as an additional pillar of digital regulatory policy. However, there are a number of structural barriers at this time which stand in the way of reaping the potential benefits of co-regulation. To remove these barriers the inter-relation between “hard law” and “soft law” needs a clearer definition and the latter needs to develop a stronger legal effect in order to contribute to more legal security at the end of the day. The study takes an in-depth view at theory and practice and develops policy recommendations what co-regulatory governance models could look like and how co-regulation could be anchored in the relevant legal acts to become more effective.

SRIW was founded in 2011 by German and international companies of the digital economy as well as the ICT-association BITKOM. Our main objectives are to promote consumer protection and data protection through self- and co-regulation, and to serve as a platform for the development, implementation, enforcement, and evaluation of various codes of conduct related to this purpose.

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