Priority Paper (May 2015)

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Ecommerce Europe presents its Priority Paper entitled “Policy and market solutions to stimulate cross-border e-commerce in Europe” (May 2015)

The full potential of the European ecommerce market has not been reached yet. Today only 15% of consumers shop online from another EU country . The European Commission wants to facilitate cross-border e-commerce, especially for SMEs. The Commission will present its strategy for the Digital Single Market on 6 May. Ecommerce Europe welcomes the activeness and progress of the Commission. Together with all European stakeholders we should work together in order to rapidly remove these remaining barriers in cross-border ecommerce. For policy makers this entails supporting market initiatives, abolishing superfluous regulation, and only considering new regulatory structures if absolutely necessary. The Commission should make sure not to complicate things any further for the online 1 TNS, Flash Eurobarometer 359, 2013 sector. Fundamental business freedoms – especially the freedom to provide goods and services throughout the European Union – should also apply in the digital world. According to the preliminary results of the Ecommerce Europe survey “Barriers to Growth” (launched in early 2015), the top three barriers faced daily by online shops when doing business abroad are issues related to legal frameworks, logistics and taxation/VAT. Other difficult barriers to overcome when selling abroad involve (online) payments, competition issues (such as geo-blocking), language, client relationships and marketing. Ecommerce Europe takes up its role in stimulating this growth by developing initiatives such as a pan-European Trustmark to foster consumer trust in cross-border purchases. Our organization also advocates a web platform on e-logistics, bringing delivery operators and online merchants together in order to create more transparency in the parcel delivery market. However, for Europe to fully benefit from the potential of this sector, action is also needed on the policy level. With this priority paper, Ecommerce Europe formulates market and policy proposals including action points for policy makers, online merchants and e-commerce industry suppliers, with the aim of stimulating cross-border ecommerce.

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