Dear reader,

Welcome to Publyon’s Digital Policy Update. We are happy to provide you with insights on the latest EU policy trends and developments every month. Another month, another batch of rainy clouds over the EU capital, as the summer has not reached Brussels yet.

What has reached us, however, are the results of the European elections. Although there is little sunlight, that doesn’t mean we cannot shine our spotlight on the outcomes of these elections and what they will mean for digital and tech. So put on your raincoat and take out your umbrella, as we brave the news storm together. Other news updates this month cover our beloved AI Act and some cyber-related news. And if you feel like our spotlight wasn’t enough to fill you in on the elections, be sure to check out our blog section on the European elections at the end of the newsletter.

The spotlight

The spotlight

European elections 2024: it’s raining MEPs

The European post-election landscape is a little like clouds. It is divided in groups (cumulus, stratus, cirrus, nimbus, and so on), follows a process of cloud formation, and ends up playing a big role in the regulation of our (political) climate. These clouds pour out their ideas and political priorities in our rainy city and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how European politics are conducted. Following the election outcomes, some were on cloud nine, others under a cloud, but we at Publyon concluded every cloud has a silver lining, and these elections brought their fair share of interesting news.


The forecast was correct (for once)

While some expected a dark storm to blow over the hemicycle, the results of the European elections stayed a little closer to what was forecasted. The European People’s Party (EPP) won the elections, followed by the Socialists and Democrats (S&D). Although Renew took a blow, the three political groups gathered enough seats to possibly form a majority and back European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for a second term. Whether other political groups will join this cloud coalition will become apparent in the upcoming weeks.  


No purple rain, but no black rain either

Although the European Parliament’s equilibrium shifted to the right, with the ECR and ID gaining seats compared to 2019, the seat increase was contained. For digital and tech policies, such shift could mean different things. On the one hand, analysts anticipate ECR and ID to undermine EU tech legislation such as the GDPR and the DSA, which is considered more progressive and traditionally backed by political groups including the EPP, S&D and Renew. On the other hand, the far-right believes social media imposes too much censorship, leaving little arguments to the more conservative parties to support tighter regulation on social networks.


Incoming cumuli

Election results also translate into MEP nominations, and although these nominations will only be finalised once all the political groups will be formed, we can already share a few names with you to look out for in the future of digital policies. A new cumulus to watch is Finnish former Meta lobbyist Aura Salla (EPP, Finland), who wants to address Brussels’ overregulation of tech which she considers harmful for European companies and SMEs.

Other big clouds that will stay hanging over Brussels are co-rapporteur on the AI Act Brando Benifei (S&D, Italy), shadow-rapporteurs on the AI Act Axel Voss (EPP, Germany) and Kim van Sparrentak (Greens/EFA, Netherlands), rapporteur on the Data Act Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP, Spain) and her colleague on the file Damian Boeselager (Greens/EFA, Netherlands), but also rapporteur on the NIS 2 Directive Bart Groothuis (Renew, Netherlands) and shadow-rapporteur Eva Maydell (EPP, Bulgaria), rapporteur on the DSA Christel Schaldemose (S&D, Denmark) and shadow-rapporteur Arba Kokalari (EPP, Sweden). More to come…

Some clouds that drifted away from the European sky altogether are Dutch liberal MEP Sophie in ’t Veld (Volt), big on spyware surveillance, data protection and online child sexual abuse. All the while rapporteur on the European Data Strategy Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D, Finland) concluded her time at the European Parliament by not running for re-election. One MEP who will continue pouring his efforts over the EU, albeit not at the hemicycle anymore is co-rapporteur on the AI Act Dragoș Tudorache (Renew, Romania), who recently joined the European Commission’s AI Office (more on that below).


What’s next?

Once the political groups will be officially formed, all eyes will be on the constitutive plenary sitting of the European Parliament, taking place between 16 – 19 July. The newly constituted European Parliament will also be expected to vote on the constitution of its parliamentary committees on 17 – 18 July, which will give a better idea of which MEPs to follow for upcoming digital and tech policies.

Want to know how these developments will impact your business? Reach out to our Director Cathy Kremer at

Policy update

Policy update

Singing in the rAIn

“Is the legislative process of the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) still ongoing?”. Our answer at Publyon is yes, there always seems to be one extra person who needs to sign the final text. This time, the AI Act was formally signed by the Belgian State Secretary for Digitalisation Mathieu Michel on 12 June, on behalf of the Council of the EU, finally paving the way for publication in the Official Journal of the EU. The Act now only needs to be signed by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola (just another formality, rest assured).


What’s on the forecast?

The weather forecast announced that it would stop raining once the AI Act will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. You can thus expect Belgian summer to show its true colours around the second half of July. On a more technical note, the publication entails that the Act will officially enter into force in August twenty days later. The content of the Act will take effect in stages; the prohibitions on AI models will apply first, after 6 months (February 2025), while rules concerning general-purpose AI models (GPAI), governance and sanctions will become applicable after 12 months (except fines for GPAI providers).

After one year, EU Member States would have to designate competent authorities for dealing with the AI rules. The rest of the AI Act’s rules will be applicable after 24 months, such as high-risk AI (with exemptions), as well as the obligation of Member States to have at least one operational AI regulatory sandbox ready for testing of AI models before they are being put on the market.


Setting up the AI Office

So much rain can make the bigger picture somewhat blurry. No worries, we’ve got the details for you! The European Commission shared news about the EU AI Office, which will be responsible for the monitoring, implementation, and enforcement of the AI Act. In essence, the AI Office is a reshuffle of the digital Directorate A(I) of DG CNECT within the European Commission. The Office will be directed by Lucilla Sioli, the current AI and Digital Industry director. Further, it will consist of five units, supported by a Lead Scientific Adviser and International Affairs Advisor: Excellence in AI and robotics (headed by Cécile Huet), AI regulation and compliance (Killian Gross), AI safety (Dragoș Tudorache!), AI innovation and policy coordination (Malgorzata Nikowska) and AI for good (Martin Bailey). The AI Office will become fully operational by the end of 2024.


What’s in it for my business?

The AI Office will be a crucial contact point for the enforcement of the AI Act. Next to this, the AI Office will be working on upcoming implementing legislation. At this moment, it is preparing guidelines for the definition of AI systems and prohibitions, as well as the Codes of Practice for GPAI models, that have to be set by May 2025. The EU has already published new rules to make more public datasets available to stimulate AI and data-driven innovation, on themes ranging from environment, companies and mobility. Check out the official portal here.

However, smoothening the access to innovation and the transition from regulatory sandboxes to the EU market, especially for startups and SMEs, is not a done deal. As it stands, it is still very costly and burdensome to develop and deploy AI in the European market. It remains to be seen whether the AI Act’s rules will in effect enable more innovation, whether the AI Office will be accessible to all and whether policy will be able to evolve along with the market.

On the Council front, new rules were adopted on 17 June under the EuroHPC initiative, to open up supercomputing to AI start-ups to train their AI models. With this initiative, the European Commission seeks to “stimulate European leadership in trustworthy AI” and create EU digital unicorns. The Parliament had green-lighted the proposal back in April.

More news from the international scene as well, after the G7 Summit in Apuglia (Italy) from 13 – 15 June, where the G7 heads of state published a communiqué addressing amongst others the rise of artificial intelligence. In the dedicated section of the communiqué, the G7 leaders confirm the creation of a reporting framework under the Hiroshima AI Process, setting voluntary rules on AI and committing to an action plan on AI and labour.


Set cyber to the rain

This time around, there are few legislative updates about the Cyber Solidarity Act or the Cyber Resilience Act. Both only need the approval of the Council before they can be published in the Official Journal of the EU and enter into force. But do not despair: we rounded up some other cyber news for you.

On 22 May, the Commission reported a growing cyber skills gap and the need to increase cyber specialists and awareness. The Cybersecurity Skills Academy, launched last year, provides cybersecurity training offers and funding opportunities for the Commission’s Digital Skills and Jobs Platform to tackle this gap. New financing opportunities are coming in autumn 2024.


Digital rainchecks: the eIDAS enters into force

Do you know the expression “save for a rainy day”? Well, it seems like the eIDAS will help you do just that…digitally. On 20 May, the European Digital Identity Regulation (eIDAS) entered into force. The Regulation sets up digital wallets (in the form of a mobile app) for EU citizens to identify online, to securely access public and private services all over Europe. The eIDAS Regulation will considerably facilitate transactions for citizens and for businesses, but its implementation will only be mandatory in all Member by end of 2026 – still a little bit of a wait, just like with our summer.



European elections 2024: outcomes and implications

Keen to understand all the details behind this year’s European elections? We’ve got you covered! Find all the information you need to have to understand the new European political landscape – results, group formations, EU top jobs, you name it.

European elections 2024: outcomes and implications

Meet the team

We are always looking for opportunities to exchange with our readers or anyone who has an interest in digital and tech in general. This month, you will find our colleague Cathy Kremer at the CEPS event “A workforce transformed: jobs and skills in the age of AI”, on 26 June.

We also like to exchange in any other way you see fit, whether to reach out with some questions or share your suggestions for the upcoming editions of the Digital Policy Update, or simply to get to know our readers and talk de la pluie et du beau temps, as they say in French.

Emmanuelle Ledure

Emmanuelle Ledure

Hi, my name is Emmanuelle, and I am your rainbow reporter this month, bringing Brussels’ main digitalisation and technology insights to your inbox. I hope you enjoyed this edition of our update. We are always looking to provide our community with the most valuable content possible, and that starts with you. If you have any suggestions for topics you would like to see covered in our next edition, do not hesitate to reach out to me.