European Council discusses the way forward to a ‘Digital Europe’

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On 19 and 20 October, the European Council met to discuss crucial topics for the future of the EU among which the future of digital Europe. EU leaders adopted a series of priorities to pursue for ‘Europe to go digital’, focusing on e-government, the Digital Single Market Strategy, infrastructure and communication networks, cyber security, online crime and taxation system.

The European Council underlined the importance of “completing the Digital Single Market Strategy in all its elements by the end of 2018”. To that end, an additional TTE/Telecom Council took place today, 24 October, to discuss how to speed up and prioritize the work on the Digital Single Market.

In its conclusions, the European Council calls upon the co-legislators to reach an agreement on geo-blocking and parcel delivery by the end of 2017, as well as on the free flow of non-personal data proposal and the Electronic Communications Code by June 2018. In addition, the European Council stresses the importance of increasing transparency in platforms’ practices and uses.

Ecommerce Europe supports the creation of a real Digital Single Market, from which both online merchants and consumers can benefit. Nevertheless, some legislative proposals now under discussion seem not to be aligned with this approach. In a modern retail world, it is of utmost importance to ensure that legislation will be future proof and not hamper technological innovation or consumers’ shopping experiences online.

To ensure the development of a digital Europe, the European Council also insisted on the need to build a favorable environment by boosting investments both in digital skills and R&D, to “stimulate and assist the digital transformation of industries and services” and implementing a fair taxation system, to “ensure that all companies pay their fair share of taxes and a global level-playing field in line” To know more about Ecommerce Europe’s position on this subject, read our Manifesto here.

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