A dataset on EU legislation for the digital world

Publishing date
16 November 2023

This Bruegel dataset seeks to provide a comprehensive view of:

  • European Union laws relevant to digitalisation enacted previously, measures that have been enacted or might still be enacted during the current legislative session (2019 - 2024), and ongoing EU policy initiatives that might lead to new legislation in the foreseeable future;

  • For each of the years 2020 - 2023, a figure showing the actual or expected progress through the EU legislative process of the five measures introduced that year that the authors consider to be the most significant;

  • Governmental and non-governmental bodies at EU level that contribute to the implementation and enforcement of legislative measures related to digitalisation. 

To download the tables described in the memo below, please use the download button in the top-left of the page. In case of comments or requests, please contact us at [email protected].

Latest update: 16 November 2023

Digital laws

The EU has enacted an extensive body of digital legislation, mostly under the Digital Agenda and the Digital Single Market (DSM) initiatives. In the current legislative term, major new measures relevant to digitalisation, including the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the Digital Services Act (DSA), the Data Act, the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act), the Data Governance Act (DGA), the European Health Data Space (EHDS), an update to the regulation on electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS 2) and a measure to strengthen the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure (NIS2), have all either been enacted or are in the legislative process with prospects of being enacted in the coming months.

The Overview of EU Legislation in the Digital Sector (Table 1) benefits from prior work. In particular, De Streel and Hocepied (2019) in a report on legal characteristics of the Digital Single Market (DSM) provided a workable taxonomy, which Marcus et al (2019) used as a basis for assessing the economic results of the same measures. The European Parliament’s Special Committee on AI in the Digital Age (AIDA) published a similar taxonomy in 2022 as part of Codagnone et al (2022).

Sources, limitations and disclaimers

Information in this dataset is accurate to the best of the authors’ knowledge. Predictions of when legislation might be enacted are uncertain because of the nature of the legislative process.

Much of the information in our tables, especially information about measures that have already been enacted, is based on standard, publicly available sources. When we provide information about planned initiatives, the information is often based on official pronouncements of the European institutions, such as European Commission work programmes or State of the European Union addresses. Our assessment of planned initiatives also reflects first-hand knowledge, information from colleagues and other sources.

In case of comments or requests, please contact us at [email protected]. We welcome input from knowledgeable stakeholders.

Understanding the tables in this dataset

Table 1 provides an overview of legislative measures enacted, or which may possibly be enacted during the current legislative session, roughly following the taxonomy of de Streel and Hocepied (2019). We classify the measures depending on whether they primarily relate to: (1) research and innovation; (2) industrial policy; (3) connectivity; (4) data and privacy; (5) cybersecurity; (6) law enforcement; (7) trust and safety; (8) e-commerce and consumer protection; (9) competition, (10) IPR and media; and (11) finance. We distinguish among (a) measures that have been enacted, (b) those that are in the legislative process, and (c) initiatives that have been announced, but that are not yet formally in the legislative process.

To find the detailed text of legislation that has been enacted or negotiated, please follow the links in the dataset.

For each of the five measures that the authors deem to be the most important among those introduced in each of the years 2020 through 2023, Figures 1 to 4 indicate where they are in the legislative process, and when they are likely to be enacted (if at all). The date of submission by the Commission, the dates on which the Parliament began and completed negotiations, the dates on which the trilogue began and ended, and the date on which the measure was published in the Official Journal are all shown.

Table 2 provides a list and taxonomy of the number of governmental and non-governmental bodies that in one way or another contribute to the implementation and enforcement of EU legislative measures that relate to digitalisation. Only EU bodies that have a role in implementing EU law relevant to digital services are included. Member state implementation bodies are not shown, nor are any expert groups that serve solely to provide the European Commission with high-level input and advice with the drafting of delegated or implementing acts. The thematic taxonomy is the same as that of Table 1. In Table 2, we distinguish between (1) EU institutions, (2) executive agencies, (3) decentralised agencies, (4) governing boards, (5) independent bodies, (6) advisory bodies, (7) networks of member states, and (8) European standardisation organisations (ESOs).

Noteworthy changes since the July 2023 version of this dataset

In the July version of this dataset, we identified the most important legislative files for the 2019-2024 legislative term as: (1) the Digital Markets Act (DMA), (2) the Digital Services Act (DSA), (3) the Data Act and (4) the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act). This is still the view of the authors.

The DMA and DSA have been enacted. Initial designations of DMA gatekeepers and DSA Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and Very Large Search Engines (VLSEs) have been made. For the purposes of the DMA, these are the only firms to which the new rules apply; for the DSA, they are the firms subject to the most intensive of the new rules.

The trilogue negotiations on the Data Act took place between April and June 2023. Political Agreement has been reached. The publication of the final law in the Official Journal of the European Union is expected to take place in the coming months.

The Parliament agreed its position on the AI Act in June 2023. The measure is now in trilogue negotiations between the Parliament and the Council. There is strong interest in reaching a political deal by December 2023, but the issues are complex, and negotiations are likely to be intense.

The European Commission previously announced its intention to submit a legislative proposal for a measure that would oblige large content and application providers (CAPs) to contribute to the deployment of high-speed broadband networks in the EU. This did not happen, and it is now clear that it will not happen during the current legislative session. The Commission’s 2024 Work Programme (European Commission, 2023) commits to “prepare the ground for possible policy and regulatory actions regarding Digital Networks and infrastructure, notably to facilitate cross-border infrastructure operators in the Single Market, accelerate deployment of technologies and attract more capital into networks.” Given the conspicuous lack of stakeholder and member state consensus on the Commission’s proposals along these lines to date, it is highly speculative what, if anything, will actually be proposed. 

European Commission (2023) ‘Commission work programme 2024, Delivering today and preparing for tomorrow’, COM(2023) 638 final, available at

Marcus, J.S., G. Petropoulos and T. Yeung (2019) Contribution to growth. The European Digital Single Market. Delivering economic benefits for citizens and businesses, Study requested by the IMCO Committee, European Parliament, available at…

de Streel, A. and C. Hocepied (2019) Contributing to Growth: European Digital Single - Market Delivering improved rights for citizens and businesses, Study requested by the IMCO Committee, European Parliament, available at…

Codagnone, C., G. Liva and T. Rodriguez de las Heras Bellel (2022) Identification and assessment of existing and draft EU legislation in the digital field, Study r equested by the AIDA special committee, European Parliament, available at…

First published: 20 July 2023

Latest update: 16 November 2023

About the authors

  • Kai Zenner

    Kai Zenner is Head of Office and Digital Policy Adviser for MEP Axel Voss (European People’s Party Group) in the European Parliament. Describing himself as a digital enthusiast, he focuses on AI, data and the EU’s digital transition. Currently, he is involved in the political negotiations on the AI Act, AI liability directive, eprivacy Regulation and GDPR revision. In his individual capacity, he is pushing for reforms within the European Parliament and for bringing back the Better Regulation agenda to EU policymaking.

    Mr Zenner graduated in political science (M.Sc. at University of Edinburgh, B.A. at University of Bremen) and in law (State Exam at University of Münster). Before moving to the European Parliament, he worked as research associate at the European office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Brussels.

    He is member of the OECD.AI Network of Experts since 2021, was awarded best MEP Assistant in 2023 ("APA who has gone above and beyond in his duties") and ranked Place #13 in Politico's Power 40 - class 2023 ("top influencers who are most effectively setting the agenda in politics, public policy and advocacy in Brussels").

  • J. Scott Marcus

    J. Scott Marcus is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, a Brussels-based economics think tank, and also works as an independent consultant dealing with policy and regulatory policy regarding electronic communications. His work is interdisciplinary and entails economics, political science / public administration, policy analysis, and engineering.

    From 2005 to 2015, he served as a Director for WIK-Consult GmbH (the consulting arm of the WIK, a German research institute in regulatory economics for network industries). From 2001 to 2005, he served as Senior Advisor for Internet Technology for the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as a peer to the Chief Economist and Chief Technologist. In 2004, the FCC seconded Mr. Marcus to the European Commission (to what was then DG INFSO) under a grant from the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Prior to working for the FCC, he was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Genuity, Inc. (GTE Internetworking), one of the world's largest backbone internet service providers.

    Mr. Marcus is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Communications and Media program at the Florence School of Regulation (FSR), a unit of the European University Institute (EUI). He is also a Fellow of GLOCOM (the Center for Global Communications, a research institute of the International University of Japan). He is a Senior Member of the IEEE; has served as co-editor for public policy and regulation for IEEE Communications Magazine; served on the Meetings and Conference Board of the IEEE Communications Society from 2001 through 2005; and was Vice Chair and then Acting Chair of IEEE CNOM. He served on the board of the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) from 2000 to 2002.

    Marcus is the author of numerous papers, a book on data network design. He either led or served as first author for numerous studies for the European Parliament, the European Commission, and national governments and regulatory authorities around the world.

    Marcus holds a B.A. in Political Science (Public Administration) from the City College of New York (CCNY), and an M.S. from the School of Engineering, Columbia University.

  • Kamil Sekut

    Kamil works at Bruegel as a Research assistant. He studied Economics (BSc) at University of Warsaw with a semester exchange at Utrecht University. He pursued MSc in Economics at KU Leuven, where he specialized in labour issues, development economics and applied econometrics.

    Before coming to Bruegel, Kamil worked as a Research assistant at the Group for Research in Applied Economics, a non-governmental research centre based in Warsaw where he worked on several projects in labour economics.  He also finished a summer internship at the Polish Ministry of Finance, where he analysed differences in wage trajectories of parents after childbirth. 

    His MSc thesis defended at KU Leuven investigated the impact of occupational skill mismatch on job satisfaction and mental health of workers. 

    Kamil is also interested in long-term growth, political economy, and innovation policy.  He speaks English fluently and is a native speaker of Polish. 

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