By Miguel Pereira (Master’s student in European Union Law at the University of Minho)
Truffle hunting: finding meaning in the European Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles for the Digital Decade
Truffles are small, hard to find and delicate fungi that tend to grow around tree roots. Hunting and extracting them requires expert knowledge passed down through generations, persistence, attention to details and, usually, the helpful nose of a well-trained dog. For a jurist, sifting through the ever-growing body of declarations, communications, positions, resolutions and decisions of the EU institutions often requires the same level of dedication and attention to detail, in an effort to find meaning and footholds in what at first sight can be chalked up to pure political jargon – in essence, an effort to find truffles.
In December 2022, the EU institutions issued two instruments that lay out their vision for a Digital Europe and the principles that should govern its development: the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030 (“Digital Decade Programme”) and the European Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles for the Digital Decade (“Declaration on Digital Rights”). Both instruments have been in the works for a while and, even though falling short of expectations due to their limited legal relevance, they’re still noteworthy as a summary of the EU’s digital ambitions, priorities and concerns. They also embody a change of paradigm that legal scholarship has strived to identify and document over the past few years: a refocusing of digital policy around the protection of fundamental rights and the adoption of a digital constitutionalist stance in the development of said policy and legislation.Continue reading “Editorial of February 2023”