E-commerce among TOP-5 priorities of the future Digital Strategy of the European Union


The European Commission is currently developing a strategy on digital policies for the coming years.   To the satisfaction of Ecommerce Europe, a draft document (not public) shows that e-commerce will be one of the five main pillars on which this digital strategy will be based. The other pillars are trust, access to networks and connectivity, digital economy and e-society.

Revisions of the Common European Sales Law

The new strategy discusses a revision of the 2011 proposal of the CommonEuropean Sales Law, an extra legislation about consumer rights in distance-selling and cross-border sales contracts. Ecommerce Europe is dissatisfied with the 2011 proposal and advocates against an extra instrument on European consumer rights, because it will be too complex and expensive to provide real practical value for consumers and businesses.

Development of dispute resolution systems

The strategy will also cover the creation of online platforms to solve disputes between consumers and businesses. Ecommerce Europe supports this initiative and asks for a fast roll-out of a common European Online Complaint and Dispute Resolution system. This means a platform easily accessible, transparent and fast, so as to be beneficial for both consumers and businesses.

Tackle competition issues

The strategy is expected to ease competition rules to facilitate investment and to regulate online comparison services such websites and search engines featuring price comparison and user-generated online reviews. It is a powerful tool for online shopping and Ecommerce Europe welcomes this initiative. However, a pan-European action is needed to ensure equal access for all online merchants to these tools, so as to allow small and medium sized businesses and consumers to benefit from them.

Next steps

Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip will present the digital strategy on 6 May. Ecommerce Europe stays closely in contact with the European policy makers to ensure that the interests of the sector will be taken into account.

To have more information about Ecommerce Europe’s recommendations on the previous subjects, please click here for the Ecommerce Europe Priority Paper (2015).