UCL European & International Social & Political Studies


UCL European & International Social & Political Studies


ESPS0010 - Cyberlaw and Governance of Digital Markets

Course value: 15 credits
Convenor: Dr. Alessandro Spano
Duration: One term (Term 2)
Teaching structure: 1 two-hour seminar
Assessment: 1 assessed essay of 3,000 words (100%)
Available to: All Years and Affiliates
Module level: Intermediate

Course Description:

A Digital Single Market is one in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured and where citizens, individuals and businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition, and a high level of consumer and personal data protection, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence. Europeans often face barriers when using online tools and services. This is even though European countries have spent decades bringing down those barriers "offline". Fragmentation and barriers that do not exist in physical markets are holding the European economies back. At present, markets are largely domestic in terms of online services. This module will study what legislation and policies are necessary to the creation of a Digital Single Market and their role in boosting jobs, growth, competition, investment and innovation in Europe.  The module shall focus on three policy areas, or pillars:

First, the module will study legislation and policies promoting better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe, for instance, by removing barriers that hold back cross-border e-commerce.

Second, the module will study legislation and policies which create the right conditions for infrastructure investment, ensuring a level playing field between market players and improving the European basis for the digital economy.

Finally, the module will study legislation and policies which help to maximize the growth potential of the digital economy. These include actions with far-reaching effects on European industrial competiveness, investment in ICT infrastructures and technologies such as Cloud computing and Big Data, research and innovation as well as inclusiveness and skills.