Looking back on 2016: A landmark year


As 2016 draws to a close, Ecommerce Europe can look back on a successful and busy year, in which its lobbying- and advocacy efforts have been expanded even further. We have been active in our core mission of working to break down barriers to e-commerce at the local, national and cross-border level.

Working to shape the European regulatory framework for the e-commerce sector

Ecommerce Europe’s key priority continues to be to lobbying on behalf of its members for a European regulatory framework that suits the interests of the European e-commerce sector. In the context of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy, this role has been particularly important, with the regulatory landscape for the future of the sector at stake.

Given this, following the direction of our three working committees in the field of e-Regulations, e-Payments and e-Logistics, we have actively engaged in numerous stakeholder meetings, public consultations and written amendments.

Ecommerce Europe has been particularly active on the Commission’s proposal on geo-blocking, where we have worked to ensure that legislation provides legal certainty, and does not infringe on businesses’ contractual freedom. We have also been active participants in the European Commission’s stakeholder group for the REFIT exercise for consumer and marketing law, helping to shape future policy direction in this area.

Ecommerce Europe has also been very active in the area of e-logistics, and in September we published our manifesto for a better parcel delivery market in Europe. We have also been active in shaping the logistics sector at the global level, as is reflected in the recent announcement that Walter Trezek, Co-Chair of the Consultative Committee of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

In the area of payments, Ecommerce Europe has been active in trying to promote a payments landscape that is open to innovations and where security is balanced against ease for consumers. In this context, we have actively pushed for the inclusion of a risk-based approach to payment authentication in the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on payment authentication. This work will continue in 2017.

Furthermore, we launched our new website and expanded our communication strategy, further enhancing our lobbying- and advocacy efforts.

Building consumer trust in cross-border e-commerce

The Ecommerce Europe Trustmark, stimulating cross-border e-commerce through better protection for consumers and merchants by establishing one European set of rules and by ensuring clear communication of these rules, has been successfully launched by many of our National Associations.

As of December 2016, there are now 11 National Associations participating in the Trustmark, which represents rapid development, given that the Trustmark was only launched a little over a year ago, in September 2015.

In the course of 2016, several of Ecommerce Europe’s affiliated National Associations have launched the Ecommerce Europe Trustmark, including our Irish, Danish, Portuguese, and, most recently, Greek National Associations. We will build on this growth moving forward, and in 2017, a number of National Associations will launch the Trustmark, including Hungary and Poland.

The annual conference- building an e-commerce dialogue

One of the highlights of the year was a highly successful Ecommerce Europe Annual Conference last May in Barcelona, where businesses, European policy makers and other stakeholders gathered at a uniquely large discussion platform for fruitful dialogue on how to create a policy landscape suitable for the future of cross-border e-commerce. The conference provided key stakeholders in the industry with an opportunity to relay their expectations, hopes and fears to policymakers, and for policymakers to convey the work that is being done to ensure that legislation meets the needs of the industry.

Overall, the year has seen Ecommerce Europe develop its position as the voice of the e-commerce sector in Europe, working to shape the market in order to maximize its growth moving forward. We are looking forward to a new year full of e-commerce!