The Geo-Blocking Regulation



Current situation


In November 2017, the trilogue on this file came to a conclusion. The European Parliament and the Council are still to formally approve the final version of the text. Once approved and thus published in EU's official journal, the Regulation will enter into force nine months later.


  • Read the European Commission press release here


  • Read the Council's policy page on the Regulation here



GESAC's position


GESAC kept an eye on the development of this file throughout the legislative process. The European Parliament Report suggested extending the Regulation to digital services whose main feature is to give access to copyright protected works. This was suggested despite it being explicitly excluded from the Commission's General Approach. GESAC openly voiced concern about these developments, together with a number of rights holders and online services.


  • Read the cross-sectoral letter here


Extending the Regulation to the creative industries’ online services would have left services that distribute creative content less able to tailor terms and offerings to consumers’ needs and means, which vary across the Single Market based on a variety of different factors including cultural differences and purchasing power. The extension of the scope of the Regulation could have harmed the legitimate interests of consumers, as it would have severely disrupted the carefully balanced licensing system of digital content services which often operate on the basis of a combination of national, regional and pan-European licences with rates varying between territories.


Much to GESAC's relief, the final version of the Regulation, as agreed on in trilogues in November 2017 excluded the extension of the Regulation to the creative industries' online services.



What happened on the EU side



The Commission


On 25 May 2016, the European Commission published its proposal for a Geo-blocking Regulation, as part of its wider Digital Single Market package.


  • Read the proposal and relevant Commission documents here



The European Parliament


In the Parliament, the file was led by MEP Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO)


  • Read the Report here


The following Committees provided an Opinion:





The Council


In November 2016, the Council came to an agreement on a general approach in its Competitiveness Council.


  • Read the text the Council agreed on here