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The Digital Single Market, as presented by the European Commission in its Strategy on May 6, 2015 (COM[2015] 192 final), may seem like a simple extension to the digital environment of the internal market. In reality, its scope is much more important, insofar as it concerns the regulation of content, the use of technologies to facilitate exchanges within and outside the Union, but also the infrastructures necessary for the development of digital technologies. Thus, digital technology is first and foremost the preferred tool for completing the internal market. Digital technologies make it easy to remove barriers at borders and encourage the development of cross-border electronic commerce. Secondly, the economic stakes of digital technologies, such as smart contracts, blockchain, autonomous cars or connected health, are such that the European Union must implement rules to encourage and stimulate innovation and competition, in order to be well positioned in the global competition that is opening up. Finally, the choices of digital regulation made by the European institutions show a willingness to protect social values and fundamental rights enshrined in the European Union Charter, such as the protection of personal data and privacy. The adoption of the RGPD (Regulation 2016/679/EU on the protection of personal data) on April 27, 2016, is the quintessence of this European approach and demonstrates the impact that the European Union could have in regulating the digital world. The European Commission has made no mistake in making the digital single market one of the seven priorities of its 2015-2020 mandate. Its political will is materialized by the adoption of numerous texts in a multitude of legal fields.

The analysis of the substantive law under construction and its influence in the world must not only allow us to understand the rules implemented but also to seek the existence of a conceptual coherence of the digital single market. The objective of this book is thus, to give an account of the material dimension of the digital single market, as well as its institutional and conceptual dimension. It will provide a vision of the European Union in 2020 in its technological environment.

This content has been updated on 25 October 2022 at 18 h 36 min.