As of January 1st, Croatia has taken over the Presidency to the Council of the European Union for the upcoming six-month period. Croatia´s first presidency comes at an eventful time for the European Union with the newly appointed European Commission taking office, Brexit trade negotiations are set to start alongside negotiations surrounding the EU´s seven-year budget.
Topics of significance for the advertising industry, that will arise during the Presidency, include developments relating to Artificial Intelligence legislation, the Digital Services Act as well as Digital Tax proposals.
Bearing all of this in mind (and much more), the Croatian Presidency, led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, has coined the slogan ´A strong Europe in a world of challenges´. It has built this premise on the following four priorities: a Europe that develops, a Europe that connects, a Europe that protects and an influential Europe.
Owing to this, the Presidency has highlighted issues it aims to tackle affecting the advertising industry, such as, disinformation, online platforms and data infrastructure. By tackling such issues, it is hoped this will aid in returning confidence to the advertising industry, particularly from a Croatian point of view. Already the Presidency has committed to releasing a new draft text for the long awaited ePrivacy regulation in February. However, it did not commit to reaching a general approach by the end of its mandate – to the dismay of the European Parliament. EACA has been actively involved in EU-level discussions about ePrivacy since proposals were first released in 2017 (read our position papers here).
In conversation with EACA, Nikola Vrdoljak, partner of 404 agency in Croatia, acknowledged the significance of the Presidency; ´The Croatian EU presidency brings a number of opportunities for agencies and businesses in our country. We can emphasize the opportunities for PA professionals, whose services will certainly be more required in the coming period than before´.
Vrdoljak urged agencies to capitalise upon this unique opportunity: ´It is important that agencies in the Croatian market understand the consequences of regulations and decisions taken at the EU level on their operations and that they actively participate in the discussions and adoption of those decisions. The entire agency market is undergoing a dramatic transformation changing the ecosystem we work in. There are several outstanding issues, which are regulated by the EU and which will significantly affect the work of agencies´.
Find out more about the Croatian Presidency here: https://eu2020.hr/.