European Parliament supports digital single market

The European Parliament has passed a resolution that aims to support the European digital single market. With a vote of 5510 to 88 with 39 abstentions, the European Parliament cals on the European Commission (EC) to issue proposals that will:

– Find innovative solutions on cross-border parcel delivery to improve services and lower costs,

– End unjustified geo-blocking practices, so as to improve EU consumers’ access to goods and services. MEPs welcome the proposal on cross-border portability of online content services “as a first step” in this direction,

– Ensure equivalent and future-proof consumer protection, regardless of whether digital content is purchased online or offline,

– Remove barriers to SMEs, start-ups and scale-ups and seize the opportunities based on new ICT technologies, such as Big Data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things or 3D-printing; an innovation-friendly policy towards online platforms (e.g. search engines, app stores) that facilitates market entry should be maintained, and

– Review the ePrivacy directive to ensure consistency of its provisions with the new EU data protection rules.

The resolution will feed into the 16 initiatives that the EC is to deliver by the end of 2016.

The EC has been focusing hard on the digital single market, which is an opportunity for small and medium as well as larger enterprises to trade across the borders within the EU. There are major issues that impede this such as cross border parcel delivery costs that amount to barriers to trade and can be considered illegal under the various Treaties that hold the Union together.

Another aspect has been the forum to handle customer service disputes across borders, and this will significantly tackle certain prejudices among consumers who can now expect as good dispute resolution within the EU as within their own countries. This in turn should boost the digital single market significantly.