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Key Enabling Technologies and Digital Economy

Reference documents - e-Business legal aspects

Substantial progress has taken place in the field of e-Business law at EC level since the entering into force of the e-Commerce directive (2000/31/EC). Through the implementation of the adopted EC legislation, Member States have developed and consolidated national practices.

Focus should subsequently be shifted onto the identification and analysis of the current e-business legal and administrative practices from an enterprise view. This subsequently led to the launching by the Commission of a consultation on the legal barriers in e-business, which was open from 15 September 2003 to 17 November 2003.

The results of this consultation have been further analysed in a Commission Staff Working Paper:
Legal Barriers in e-business: the results of an open consultation of enterprises pdf - 273 KB [273 KB] (SEC(2004)498).

This document was used as the basis for the "European e-Business Legal Conference" (Dublin, Ireland, 27-28 April 2004).
Its final report pdf - 71 KB [71 KB] summarised the discussions during the conference.

The Commission further examined and analysed the remaining legal barriers for SMEs in e-business vis-a-vis the national legal and administrative practices. This has been done by several meetings with stakeholders as well as through 3 major legal studies:

  1. Legal validity and mutual recognition of electronic documents :
  1. Benchmarking of the national administrative and legal practices
    in the fields of e-signatures, e-invoicing as well as contract conclusion and implementation:
  1. Legal Study on unfair commercial practices within B2B electronic markets:

The conclusions reached and the recommendations made in these studies were discussed at the Brussels 2006 conference "The EU's legal framework for e-business and innovation".

Background documents

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