Article 48 – Crisis protocols

  1. The Board may recommend that the Commission initiate the drawing up, in accordance with paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, of voluntary crisis protocols for addressing crisis situations. Those situations shall be strictly limited to extraordinary circumstances affecting public security or public health.
  2. The Commission shall encourage and facilitate the providers of very large online platforms, of very large online search engines and, where appropriate, the providers of other online platforms or of other online search engines, to participate in the drawing up, testing and application of those crisis protocols. The Commission shall aim to ensure that those crisis protocols include one or more of the following measures:
    1. prominently displaying information on the crisis situation provided by Member States’ authorities or at Union level, or, depending on the context of the crisis, by other relevant reliable bodies;
    2. ensuring that the provider of intermediary services designates a specific point of contact for crisis management; where relevant, this may be the electronic point of contact referred to in Article 11 or, in the case of providers of very large online platforms or of very large online search engines, the compliance officer referred to in Article 41;
    3. where applicable, adapt the resources dedicated to compliance with the obligations set out in Articles 16, 20, 22, 23 and 35 to the needs arising from the crisis situation.
  3. The Commission shall, as appropriate, involve Member States’ authorities, and may also involve Union bodies, offices and agencies in drawing up, testing and supervising the application of the crisis protocols. The Commission may, where necessary and appropriate, also involve civil society organisations or other relevant organisations in drawing up the crisis protocols.
  4. The Commission shall aim to ensure that the crisis protocols set out clearly all of the following:
    1. the specific parameters to determine what constitutes the specific extraordinary circumstance the crisis protocol seeks to address and the objectives it pursues;
    2. the role of each participant and the measures they are to put in place in preparation and once the crisis protocol has been activated;
    3. a clear procedure for determining when the crisis protocol is to be activated;
    4. a clear procedure for determining the period during which the measures to be taken once the crisis protocol has been activated are to be taken, which is strictly limited to what is necessary for addressing the specific extraordinary circumstances concerned;
    5. safeguards to address any negative effects on the exercise of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter, in particular the freedom of expression and information and the right to non-discrimination;
    6. a process to publicly report on any measures taken, their duration and their outcomes, upon the termination of the crisis situation.
  5. If the Commission considers that a crisis protocol fails to effectively address the crisis situation, or to safeguard the exercise of fundamental rights as referred to in paragraph 4, point (e), it shall request the participants to revise the crisis protocol, including by taking additional measures.