The EU Parliament has adopted a regulation, which will allow EU citizens to have unrestricted access to their subscribed online services also when they are on holiday abroad.

Subscribers to online services who wish to have access to their subscribed content such as films or music during their stays abroad in an EU country, have been regularly facing difficulties. Either they are fully cut off from their online services or have only restricted access.

The EU Parliament has now adopted a regulation which will allow EU citizens to gain full access to their online services even when they are "temporarily present" in an EU Member State other than their Member State of residence. In this cases, online service providers are then required to grant the respective access to their services.

To prevent that the services are also used for longer stays abroad, the regulation introduces a verification obligation for online service providers, according to which the providers have to take effective measures to verify their subscriber's Member State of residence.

In principle, the new rules of this so called “Portability Regulation” will only apply to fee-based services. However, providers of free services can also decide to make their content portable on a pan-European basis, provided they comply with the requirements relating to residence verification.

The draft of the regulation still needs to be formally approved by the Council of Ministers and is expected to enter into force early 2018.

The Portability Regulation constitutes a further step towards the goal to achieve a digital single market. Thus, EU citizens will soon be able to enjoy their favourite films and series when being abroad in their holidays.