During Ecommerce Europe’s annual conference in Barcelona, Vice-President and Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes called on the next European Commission to put the completion of the Digital Single Market at the top of its priority list. The online industry welcomed this call and pointed at the enormous economic potential if all remaining barriers would be eliminated.
Online merchants indicated problems with differences in interpretation of national legislation, lack of transparency in the market, and lack of pan-European services solutions. Concrete examples of growth obstacles are cross-border delivery problems, the many different payment systems as there is a lack of reliable and affordable pan-European payment services and differing interpretations of the Consumer Rights Directive which further add to legal uncertainty and confusion for merchants.
Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes supported the call to bring down barriers for a Digital Single Market. In a video message she stated: “I would see the Digital Single Market as one of the top priorities for the next Commission, this is what I fought for as a Commissioner…It’s time for the EU to focus on what it does best. The single market is the EU’s crown jewel, and online is its natural new home. So let’s bring down those barriers. I hope we can work together to build that Digital Single Market.”
The online industry grew by 16% to €363,1 billion in 2013, but discussions today show that serious obstacles to cross-border trade still persist. In the coming months, Ecommerce Europe will facilitate the new European Parliament and the new European Commission further by conducting research on the hurdles e-commerce companies face when going cross-border or when expanding their business.
Ecommerce Europe will deliver concrete proposals for the work programme of the Commission with five position papers containing detailed policy recommendations. The position papers serve as a basis for discussion in the series of stakeholder meetings Ecommerce Europe plans for the coming months.
The five position papers of Ecommerce Europe on: e-payments, e-regulations, e-identification, e-logistics and privacy and transparency and further information on the Barcelona congress can be found at www.ecommerce-europe.eu/position-papers.