News & Events

Minister Calleary welcomes passage of Digital Services Bill

Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD has welcomed the passage of the Digital Services Bill 2023 through its final stages in Houses of the Oireachtas. 

The purpose of the Digital Services Bill is to provide for full implementation in Ireland of the EU Regulation on a Single Market for Digital Services, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA). 

This EU Regulation establishes a new regulatory framework to protect EU users of digital services and their fundamental rights online. It places obligations on providers of online intermediary services to speed up the identification and removal of illegal and harmful online content and improve transparency of their services and to give users more control over their online experience. 

Announcing the passage of the Bill, Minister Calleary said:  

“I am very pleased to see the passage of this vital Bill through the Houses of the Oireachtas and want to acknowledge the support from across the Houses to seeing this legislation through. 

“The Digital Services Bill will ensure that the rights and protections provided for in the EU Digital Services Regulation will be rigorously asserted in Ireland for the benefit and protection of Irish users of digital services.  

“I am mindful that Ireland has a particularly important role in enforcing this regulation and Government has provided additional funding to both our Digital Services Coordinator, Coimisiún na Meán, and the competent authority, the CCPC, to ensure they are properly resourced for the job ahead. This Bill now provides the legal basis for the effective implementation of the EU Digital Services Regulation in a balanced and proportionate manner. 

“This comprehensive and sophisticated Bill will reinforce Ireland’s position as one of the most advanced and progressive EU Member States in the Digital Economy and Digital Society. “  

The Digital Services Bill, when enacted, designates Coimisiún na Meán as the Digital Services Coordinator and lead competent authority for the DSA. The Bill adds the functions of the Digital Services Coordinator to those An Coimisiún already has, and adapts its existing powers, such as powers of investigation and the power to impose financial sanctions, for the specific cases where it will be implementing provisions of the EU Regulation. 

While Coimisiún na Meán will be the single point of contact, with lead responsibility for all DSA matters in Ireland, including coordination across the EU, handling complaints, and policy development, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) will also be designated as a second Competent Authority, with specific responsibility for online marketplaces under the Regulation. The EU Regulation comes into effect on 17 February 2024.  


Further information 

EU Digital Services Regulation   

The EU Digital Services Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 October 2022 on a Single Market for Digital Services and amending Directive 2000/31/EC (Digital Services Act), will apply in full in all Member States from 17 February 2024. 

The EU Digital Services Regulation establishes clear and proportionate rules to protect consumers and their fundamental rights online, whilst simultaneously fostering innovation, growth and competitiveness, and facilitating the scaling up of smaller platforms, SMEs and start-ups. It aims to rebalance the responsibilities of users, platforms, and public authorities according to European values, placing citizens at the centre.  

The EU Regulation introduces rules for online Intermediary Service Providers (ISPs). These include providers of network infrastructure; internet access; domain name registrars; cloud and web-hosting services; platforms bringing together sellers and consumers such as online marketplaces and app stores; and social media platforms.  

Although the EU Regulation has direct legal effect in EU Member States and consequently its provisions and obligations apply directly to online Intermediary Services Providers (ISPs), it is necessary to have national legislation to implement those provisions of the EU Regulation that provide for the supervision and enforcement of those obligations. The Digital Services Bill 2023 will fulfil Ireland’s obligations in this regard.

Digital Services Bill  

The Bill will designate Coimisiún na Meán as the Digital Services Coordinator and lead competent authority for the Digital Services Act. It will designate the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) as a second competent authority, with specific responsibility for online marketplaces. The Bill will also provide the authorities with the necessary powers for supervision and enforcement of the DSA, including, the ability to impose administrative fines and penalties. 

The Government allocated €2.7 million in 2023 to support the establishment of the Digital Services Coordinator function within Coimisiún na Meán. For 2024, it has allocated a total of €6 million to complete preparations and recruitment for the Digital Services Coordinator function and to support initial operations after 17 February.