European Quality Label Far From Unequivocal

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The European Commission doesn’t really know what form a European quality label should take. This was clear from the seminar that Commissioner Kroes organised in Brussels at the end of June. Ecommerce Europe – represented by the Belgian and Dutch delegates – passed on its opinion to a delegation of Members of the European Parliament which was chaired by Echeverria (EPP, Spain).

Carine Moitier (Becommerce, Belgium), Ecommerce Europe executive and Léon Mölenberg (Thuiswinkel.org, the Netherlands), member of the e-regulation working committee, participated on behalf of Ecommerce in a panel discussion held by the European Commission (EC), where it turned out that extensive research is still taking place into existing quality labels and examples of good practices. Ecommerce Europe feels it is necessary to focus on the basic elements of a quality label. Léon Mölenberg: “The terms and conditions for strong quality labels are arrived at in consultation with consumers’ organisations, certified by independent parties and have regulations for the independent settlement of disputes. The discussion should be about these important building blocks, and not about who should display a trustmark. One thing of which we are sure is that the European Commission must not be responsible for issuing a quality label.”

The EC will announce the results of the research in the next few months. The European Parliament is also carrying out research under the guidance of Echeverria (EPP, Spain), member of the European Parliament. The discussion took place with representatives of Ecommerce Europe, the European Parliament and Emota, during the annual Digital Agenda Assembly in Brussels.

Background

European consumers need to gain even more confidence in webshops. The logical thought being that trustmarks can play an important role here. Promoting confidence in online shopping and the positive role of quality labels is a focal point for action on Commissioner Kroes’ Digital Agenda. A trustmark could play a positive role here.

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