Marking the end of a turbulent legislative process dating back to 2018, the European Parliament plenary session of 28 April finally gave the green light to the Terrorist Content Online Regulation. The Parliament’s Rapporteur for the proposal, Patryk Jaki (ECR, Poland), underlined that the final text represents “a good outcome, which balances security and freedom of speech and expression on the internet, protects legal content and access to information for every citizen in the EU, while fighting terrorism through cooperation and trust between states”.

To recall, the main changes that will be introduced by this new EU piece of legislation relate to:

  • Removal of terrorist content from the internet within one hour from the relative upload can be ordered by national authorities to any online service providers and platforms established in the EU;
  • Exemptions from the removal order are envisaged for content disseminated for educational, journalistic, artistic or research purposes, along with the possibility to reinstate content taken down in error;
  • A uniform definition of terrorist content in line with fundamental rights;
  • The obligation for online service providers to monitor their efforts and submit annual reports to the responsible authorities outlining actions they have taken in this area; and
  • In any case, the new rules will not introduce a general obligation for service providers to monitor or filter content on online platforms.

Next steps

Following its final adoption in the European Parliament, the Regulation is due to come into force on the 20th day following its publication in the EU Official Journal and will start to apply one year later.