Barriers need to be further dismantled

Publikováno: 1. 4. 2014

so that consumers benefit from the digital economy. The commerce sector is eager to make a success of the European digital single market, provided that the conditions for online cross border selling are improved


EuroCommerce Press Release, Brussels, 01 April 2014

The commerce sector is eager to make a success of the European digital single market, provided that the conditions for online cross border selling are improved. Only last week, the European Parliament presented a study suggesting that with the right policy measures the single digital market could already in the coming years create additional EU28 GDP growth of at least 2 per cent, or around 260 billion euros[1].


‘That would represent a welfare gain of more than 500 euros per European consumer per year’, comments Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce. ‘No wonder that the European retail and wholesale sector are keen to see those barriers removed quickly.’


Today and tomorrow, the European Consumer Summit will take stock of barriers which prevent consumers from accessing the full benefits of a European digital single market and what regulators need to do to ensure that consumers get the best possible deal that Europe can offer.


Currently, the possibilities to get the best European deal are rather limited for consumers. The commerce sector still struggles with too many barriers which block the free flow of goods and online services across national borders, in practice there are still 28 national online markets. Consumers are also considerably more likely to purchase online from national providers (41 per cent) than from those located in other EU countries (11 percent)[1].


To stimulate traders to sell more online across the border it is important to reduce legal uncertainty. EuroCommerce therefore recommends assessing all legislation with relevance for commerce on whether it fits with the digital age and stimulates cross-border trade. Against this backdrop, it is particularly important to harmonize consumer rights rules and consumer information requirements, which still differ considerably between EU countries.  


A further push would provide cheaper and more competitive payments. The European Parliament and Council should therefore swiftly approve the Payment Services Directive II and the MIF Regulation to make cross border payments cheaper and more competitive.


Lastly, important work is needed on postal services, tax administration, skills, and infrastructure to boost online cross border selling.


For more information on EuroCommerce’s position on e-commerce please click here.




For further information, please contact:

Marjolein Raes

Director of Advocacy & Communications

Tel: +32 2 737 05 99

[1] Mapping the Cost of Non-Europe, 2014-19, European Parliamentary Research Service, March 2014.


According to this study a deeper and more complete single market in the digital field could raise the long-run level of EU28 GDP by at least 4.0 per cent - or around 520 billion euro at current prices. However, the regulatory complexity of de-compartmentalising the existing markets in this field suggests that such a potential may take a sustained period of time to realise. A plausible assumption is that, with the right policies in place, around half that gain to the European economy, or roughly 260 billion euro, could be achieved in coming years.




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