The internet and digital technologies transform our world, but due to existing barriers citizens miss out on services, companies and start-ups face limited horizons, and businesses and governments cannot fully benefit from digital tools. An especially important role is played by local and regional authorities in providing digital services for citizens and creating and managing digital infrastructure, often in the context of cross-border or interregional cooperation. However these services require immediate action to make balanced changes to any barriers to cross-border online activity, including differences between the contract and copyright laws of Member States. While the rapporteur regrets that the European Commission does not include local and regional authorities among the main cultural policy-makers in the EU, he strongly supports the proposal for a regulation on the “portability” of online content services, enabling users who have purchased online content or taken out a subscription in their country of origin to access them when they are temporarily present in another Member State. Lastly, the CoR opinion asks to clarify the parameters within which to operate the digitisation of out-of-commerce works as well as to make them available across the EU and to apply reasonable and justified exceptions in areas of significant public interest.

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