A dataset on EU legislation for the digital world

Publishing date
06 June 2024

This Bruegel dataset seeks to provide a comprehensive view of:

  • legislative measures relevant to digitalisation that were enacted in the past; measures that have been enacted during the current legislative session (2019‑2024); and ongoing EU policy initiatives that might well lead to new legislation in the foreseeable future (Table 1);
  • governmental and non-governmental bodies at EU level that contribute to the implementation and enforcement of legislative measures related to digitalisation (Table 2).

This is the third edition of the dataset. It provides the final status as of the end of the current 2019 – 2024 mandate.

The July 2023 and the November 2023 editions also included a figure, for each of the years 2020 through 2023, showing the actual or expected progress through the co-legislators of the five measures introduced that year which the authors considered to be the most significant (Figures 1 through 4). We have omitted the figures in the current edition because Table 1 already makes clear the status of all relevant legislative measures, and no further progress can be expected during the current mandate. 

Latest update: 6 June 2024

Many digital laws were enacted in the past, mostly under the EU’s Digital Agenda and Digital Single Market (DSM) programmes. In the current legislative term, which is coming to an end, important new measures relevant to digitalisation such as 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 been enacted, and most have already been published in the Official Journal.

The authors are providing successive editions of this dataset because it is important that the research community has tools to help them make sense of this wave of legislative measures.

The Overview of EU Legislation in the Digital Sector (Table 1) benefits from prior work. In the 2014‑2019 legislative term, the European Parliament’s Policy Department called for studies to assess the overall results of the legislative term. The De Streel and Hocepied (2019) 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. An earlier update to this body of work by Kai Zenner extended that analysis to cover measures in the early years of the 2019‑2024 legislative term.

Sources, limitations, and disclaimers

The authors have attempted to ensure that the information provided is accurate, but we make no guarantees. Much of the information in our tables, especially information about measures that have already been enacted, is based on standard, publicly available sources. To the extent that 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, 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) intellectual property rights (IPR); (6) cybersecurity; (7) law enforcement; (8) trust and safety; (9) e-commerce and consumer protection; (10) competition, (11) media; and (12) finance 1 In previous editions of this dataset, IPR and media appeared together as a single column. . We distinguish among (a) measures that have been enacted, versus (b) those that are in the legislative process, versus (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 that we have provided in the dataset.

Table 2 provides a list and taxonomy of the 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. The thematic taxonomy is the same as that used in Table 1, beginning with research and innovation, and continuing with industrial policy. 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. 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 developments since the November 2023 edition of this dataset

In the July and the November editions of this dataset, we identified the most important legislative files for the 2019-2024 legislative term as being (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.

All four measures have been enacted, and all but the AI Act have already been published in the Official Journal. For each of these, a substantial amount of work will be needed at EU and member state levels to make them fully effective. The AI Act will be further specified by a large amount of secondary legislation such as guidelines, templates, codes of practice, and delegated as well as implementing acts.

The Data Governance Act is not dramatic in its impacts in and of itself, but it provides mechanisms that enable the creation of European data spaces such as the European Health Data Space (EHDS). A great deal of follow-up legislative and implementation work will be needed to create the data spaces, while some of them are also non-legislative in form of communications of the European Commission.

Expectations for the coming 2024-2029 legislative term

The European institutions have asked two prominent Europeans, Enrico Letta and Mario Draghi, to produce ‘blue ribbon’ reports to take stock of or measure progress to date and to provide forward-looking approaches to strengthen the EU’s Single Market and its innovation and competitiveness in the digital world. The Letta Report is already public (Letta, 2024), while the Draghi report is expected shortly, probably in June. The next term is sure to see increased focus on these closely interrelated themes.

Some of us have expressed our own views publicly on the EU’s digital innovation capacity (Marcus and Rossi, 2024)  and on the closely related Single Market (Marcus J. S., 2024). We would argue that, in addition to addressing a wide range of subject matter issues (many of which have been well known for many years), it is time for the European institutions – not just the Commission – to invest more energy in improving the Better Regulation process by means of which the EU formulates its laws, and assesses whether changes are needed to make them effective. It also seems to us that a more centralised enforcement is required to effectively implement the large number of digital laws, either something like the UK’s Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (Marcus J.S., 2024) or by a new EU digital enforcement agency.

Next steps for this dataset

When we published the first edition of the dataset, we announced our intention to publish updated editions at the end of 2023, and at the end of the legislative term in mid-2024. We have now done so.

The authors intend to continue to publish updated editions of this dataset as appropriate during the 2024-2029 legislative term; however, we expect to take a break, because new legislative proposals concerning digitalisation are unlikely to appear until the new Commission is firmly in place, and until a new course has been firmly charted. Furthermore, many voices are calling for a pause in new digital legislation to give firms and the member states an opportunity to catch up with implementation. We will resume at such time that we feel that enough new legislative proposals have been put forward to warrant an updated edition.

Meanwhile, and in line with improving the dataset, we are producing new tables that capture key hard and soft law at international level. We do not expect to capture every possible measure but expect to provide pointers to those that are most important and useful, especially to those of us who work primarily in the EU. We expect to publish the new tables as an annex to this edition of the dataset during the summer of 2024.

de Streel, A. and C. Hocepied (2019) ‘Contributing to Growth: European Digital Single - Market Delivering improved rights for citizens and businesses’, available at… [accessed 18 July 2023]

Letta, E. (2024) 'Much More than a Market: Speed, Security, Solidarity', European Commission, 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’, available at… [accessed 18 July 2023]

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 requested by the AIDA special committee, European Parliament, available at…

Marcus, J.S. (2022) 'Achieving Joined-Up Digital Policy in the EU', available at

Marcus, J. S. (2024) 'Digital aspects of the EU Single Market: Still a work in progress?', CEPS, available at…

Marcus, J. and M. Rossi (2024) 'Strengthening EU digital competitiveness: Stoking the Engine', European University Institute, available at

First published: 20 July 2023

Latest update: 6 June 2024

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 analyst. 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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