16 initiatives to change the digital market in Europe

5/12/2015

Due to limitations on the web, EU citizens do not have the same access to goods and services online. This is something that the European Commission would like to change – and 16 new initiatives to transform the digital market is part of that.

At present, barriers online mean citizens miss out on goods and services: Only 15 percent shop online from another EU country, Internet companies cannot take full advantage of growth opportunities online and only seven percent of SMEs sell cross border. Finally, businesses and governments are not fully benefitting from digital tools.

Tear down regulatory walls

The aim of the Digital Single Market is to tear down regulatory walls and finally move from 28 national markets to a single one. A fully functional Digital Single Market could contribute €415 billion per year to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Transforming our digital future

The Digital Single Market Strategy adopted today includes a set of targeted actions to be delivered by the end of next year. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says:

– Today, we lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future. I want to see pan-continental telecoms networks, digital services that cross borders and a wave of innovative European start-ups. I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market – wherever they are in Europe. 

The new initiatives

The Digital Single Market Strategy sets out 16 key actions. This is a short summary of the different initiatives:

  1. Rules to make cross-border e-commerce easier. 
  2. To enforce consumer rules more rapidly and consistently,by reviewing the Regulation on Consumer Protection Cooperation.
  3. More efficient and affordable parcel delivery.
  4. To end unjustified geo-blocking – a discriminatory practice used for commercial reasons, when online sellers either deny consumers access to a website based on their location, or re-route them to a local store with different prices.
  5. To identify potential competition concerns affecting European e-commerce markets.
  6. A modern, more European copyright law. 
  7. A review of the Satellite and Cable Directive to assess if its scope needs to be enlarged to broadcasters' online transmissions and to explore how to boost cross-border access to broadcasters' services in Europe.
  8. To reduce the administrative burden businesses face from different VAT regimes: so that sellers of physical goods to other countries also benefit from single electronic registration and payment.
  9. Present an ambitious overhaul of EU telecoms rules. 
  10. Review the audio visual media framework to make it fit for the 21st century.
  11. Comprehensively analyse the role of online platforms (search engines, social media, app stores, etc.) in the market. 
  12. Reinforce trust and security in digital services, notably concerning the handling of personal data.
  13. Propose a partnership with the industry on cybersecurity in the area of technologies and solutions for online network security.
  14. Propose a 'European free flow of data initiative' to promote the free movement of data in the European Union.
  15. Define priorities for standards and interoperability in areas critical to the Digital Single Market, such as e-health, transport planning or energy (smart metering).
  16. Support an inclusive digital society where citizens have the right skills to seize the opportunities of the Internet and boost their chances of getting a job.

Read more about the 16 initiatives.