EU leaders call for ‘swift and determined progress’ in removing barriers to e-commerce


At their last Summit in Brussels on 28 June, EU Heads of State and Government adopted an agenda calling for swift and determined progress to bring the full benefits of the Digital Single Market to European stakeholders before the end of 2018. Among the top priorities of European leaders stands the removal of barriers to cross-border e-commerce, highlighting the urgent need to tackle the use of unjustified geo-blocking practices by some online merchants. In addition, Members of the European Council called for a reduction in the costs online merchants face due to a fragmented and non-transparent parcel delivery market and the modernization of the EU VAT system.

The European Council’s call for swift and determined action follows the presentation of the European Commission’s long awaited eCommerce Package that took place on 25 May. The Commission’s package is a collection of policy proposals targeting unjustified geo-blocking, making cross-border parcel delivery more affordable and efficient and as well as a proposal for revision of the Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation with the aim of fostering consumer trust and boosting cross-border e-commerce in Europe.

With this request for action on boosting the European e-commerce sector by removing existing barriers to online trade, the European Council echoed MEP’s concerns following the Commission’s presentation of the eCommerce Package on 14 June before the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs (IMCO).

Ecommerce Europe’s reaction to the eCommerce Package

While Ecommerce Europe welcomes the progress made by the European Commission on the realization of the Digital Single Market, the association stresses that critical underlying problems, such as legal fragmentation, are not being addressed by the current eCommerce Package. Click here to read Ecommerce Europe’s press release on the eCommerce Package.

Next steps

As the voice of the European e-commerce sector, Ecommerce Europe will continue to discuss with the European institutions and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that any new or updated legislation will take duly into account the interests of the industry.
For an overview of Ecommerce Europe’s recommendations on these issues, please click here to read the updated Priority Paper.