- Elgar European Law series
Chapter 11: Concluding remarks
A comprehensive analysis of the EU Internet regulation leaves the reader with four dominant impressions. First, a commonly repeated assertion concerning the Internet is that it is changing rapidly. This rapidity is all too apparent in the European Union where lawmaking is a combination of traditional law, soft law and self-regulation in a continuous state of flux. Competing proposals, multiple revisions, changing agendas and policy statements, to use computer jargon, leave the law in a state of permanent beta. Rather than be seen as a sign of weakness, this fluidity must be understood as an inherent feature of Internet regulation. Many framework EU instruments call for periodic reviews while major policy documents (agendas) are replaced at regular intervals. These reviews will almost certainly remain a permanent feature of EU Internet regulation. Second, the EU readily experiments with new regulatory models. The introduction of the country of origin principle in the E-Commerce Directive, the increased role of alternative dispute resolution or comprehensive data and consumer protection frameworks are some of the examples. These new regulatory models result from the need to coordinate a large number of national jurisdictions in a dynamic field. The EU desire to act as an incubator for new governance models may make it adapt more flexibly to the reality of the modern Internet as a platform rather than a product. Third, the EU has not demonstrated a desire to deviate from the boundaries set for Internet regulation in the United States. The 2005 Tunisia Internet governance negotiations,
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