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EU online Trustmarks – Building Digital Confidence in Europe (SMART 2011/0022)

Report/Study: 21/03/2013 - 01:00
This study realized an analysis of the current state-of-play on trustmarks in Europe and gave an insight into the international situation. In the same time, it stimulated the stakeholders' engagement via a survey, workshops, desk research, helping in understanding how trustmarks respond to the question of confidence in e-commerce, favouring cross-border e-commerce. Cross-border eCommerce is one of the economic activities which policy makers regard as very important in generating a EU-wide economic growth and creating new job opportunities. The Digital Agenda for Europe clearly pursues the creation of an online internal market, putting in place policies fostering cross-border eCommerce in the EU. One of the key factors of eCommerce, be it cross-border or at national level, is trust between the parties: the purchaser and the merchant. Trustmarks can play a role in establishing trust relations: a trustmark is a sign displayed on an eCommerce website, it has the purpose to provide an independent guarantee of the trustworthiness and reliability of the webshop. Trustmarks are especially useful for smaller webshops that are not (yet) a strong online brand of their own. Four policy options are reviewed by the study and the final report addresses the pros and cons of these options. The Commission is currently considering the results of the study. It is assessing, more specifically, the possibility of taking the trustmark topic into a multi-stakeholders platform. We are looking at the effects of other similar initiatives like the recent Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Comparison Tools (websites), conducted by DG SANCO. You will find below the study itself – with its 2 annexes.