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Speaking after the Commission outlined its mid-term review of the Digital Single Market Strategy, S&D Group vice-president responsible for digital policy Josef Weidenholzer said:

“Over the last two years the Commission has made good progress in turning the Digital Union into a reality. We are happy to give them a 7/10 for the work done so far. However, there is a lot still to do. In the second half of the Commission's term in office we want see quicker implementation of existing proposals, as well as new projects.  The S&D Group is ready to work constructively on this. As a matter of priority, we need to strengthen fundamental digital rights.

“Today’s review addresses a couple of areas that are vital for the future direction of our European society and economy. We look forward to Commission's legislative proposals regarding online platforms as these can help generate more economic growth, create new quality jobs and reduce unfair practices.

“We also welcome the Commissioner’s comments on cybersecurity and tackling fake news and hate speech. The recent hacking case in the final days of the French Presidential election shows the urgency of strengthening cybersecurity standards in Europe. Tackling fake news and hate speech is also essential if we want to rebuild citizens' trust in democracy and democratically elected institutions. The S&D Group will work closely with the Commission to ensure that fundamental rights remain protected and that all groups, including media and internet services providers, take their responsibility seriously.

“Despite these positives, we are disappointed the Commission did not say more on digital skills or inclusion. For us this must be at the heart of the Digital Union - to ensure no European is left behind. We need to empower citizens and communities so they can participate fully in the digital world and so that they are ready for the constantly changing labour market of the future.”

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