After a long parliamentary legislative procedure, on 23 April 2021 the European Delegation Law for the years 2019 and 2020 was finally published in the Official Gazette and will enter into force on 8 May 2021.
The Government is finally delegated to transpose 39 directives and to adapt the Italian legal system to the new provisions introduced by 16 additional European regulations.
Within the scope of legislative delegation, there are several crucial provisions in the context of the Digital Single Market, including:
- Directive (EU) 2018/1808 reforming the rules concerning audiovisual media services providers, whose deadline for transposition expired on 19 September 2020;
- Directive (EU) 2018/1972 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code, whose deadline for transposition expired on 21 December 2020;
- Directive (EU) 2019/770 concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services, whose deadline for transposition will expire on 1 July 2021 and which provisions will become applicable starting from 1 January 2022;
- Directive (EU) 2019/771 concerning contracts for the sale of goods, whose deadline for transposition will expire on 1 July 2021 and which provisions will become applicable starting from 1 January 2022;
- Directive (EU) 2019/789 laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes, whose deadline for transposition will expire on 7 June 2021;
- Directive (EU) 2019/790 reforming copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market, whose deadline for transposition will expire on 7 June 2021;
- Regulation (EU) 2019/881 concerning – inter alia – ENISA (the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity) and information and communications technology cybersecurity certification (also known as the "Cybersecurity Act"), which provides that some of its provisions will enter into force within 28 June 2021.
What are the next steps of the procedure?
The transposition and implementation of the obligations provided by the European legislation are governed by Law no. 234/2012, which imposes on the Government different deadlines for the adoption of the relevant legislative decrees (in Italian "Decreto Legislativo", also abbreviated to "D.Lgs."). This system is necessary in order to limit the start of possible infringement procedures for breach of EU law and the imposition of related sanctions by the European Commission.
In particular, section 31 of Law no. 234/2012 provides that the Government must adopt the legislative decrees connected with the European Delegation Law at least four months prior to the transposition deadline indicated in the relevant directives. When such rules cannot be applied, as with reference to the directives mentioned above, the relevant legislative decrees must be issued within three months from the date of entry into force of the European Delegation Law.
Accordingly, within 8 August 2021, the Government must adopt legislative decrees containing the implementing measures (within the limits of the Delegation Law). In any case, prior to their adoption, the Government must submit the drafts of such decrees to the competent parliamentary committees for their prior opinion. Such opinion shall be issued within 40 days.
With regard to the implementation of the provisions of the Cybersecurity Act, the European Delegation Law establishes a 12-month term for the Government to adopt the relative implementing measures.
What will change?
The implementation of these European provisions will entail various amendments to Italian law, which have become necessary in light of the unprecedented technological developments that have occurred in recent years and the related numerous changes in the economic context of the European Single Market.
Likely, the main amendments will affect the provisions of the Consumer Code (Legislative Decree no. 206/2005), the Consolidated Law on Audiovisual and Radio Media Services (Legislative Decree no. 177/2005, also called "TUSMAR"), the Copyright Law (Law no. 633/1941) as well as the Electronic Communications Code (Legislative Decree no. 259/2003).
We will provide you with more details once the drafts are published or otherwise available: register here.