Achieving Joined-Up Digital Policy in the EU

7 Pages Posted: 2 May 2022

See all articles by J. Scott Marcus

J. Scott Marcus

Bruegel; European University Institute - Florence School of Regulation; The Japanese Institute of Global Communications (J.I. GLOCOM)

Date Written: April 3, 2022


Multiple legislative initiatives relevant to EU digital policy are working their way through the European Parliament and the Council just now. The interactions between and among these measures, and also with existing EU legislation, are difficult to foresee in full. The risk of a lack of overall coherence is substantial.

Digital policy is a very broad area, encompassing many specialised topics. Among them are industrial policy, innovation, competition, freedom of expression, privacy, and security. An expert in one of these areas will not necessarily be conversant in the others. The need for an over-arching view is, however, becoming increasingly evident. Links are emerging between thematic areas that had historically been largely distinct – for instance, between competition law and privacy.

In the same vein, most of the new and existing measures have mechanisms for coordination between the EU institutions and the Member States, but no two use the same mechanism. Some are working well, while others have shown themselves to be problematic. This is already the case for measures that are in force, but the proliferation of new legislation raises the risk considerably. Once again, there is substantial risk both of a lack of coherence among the different laws, and also of inconsistency and fragmentation across the Member States.

This research note suggests a concrete approach, inspired in large part by the UK's Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF), to foster greater dialogue and coherence across the multiple thematic areas of digital regulation that existing and new rules address, and also to foster greater coherence among the Member States and between the EU and the Member States.

Keywords: European Union, UK, Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum, DRCF, GDPR, Digital Markets Act, DMA, Digital Services Act, DSA, Artificial Intelligence Act, AI Act, Data Act

Suggested Citation

Marcus, J. Scott, Achieving Joined-Up Digital Policy in the EU (April 3, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

J. Scott Marcus (Contact Author)

Bruegel ( email )

Rue de la Charité 33
B-1210 Brussels Belgium, 1210

European University Institute - Florence School of Regulation ( email )


The Japanese Institute of Global Communications (J.I. GLOCOM) ( email )


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