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Communication on e-commerce and other online services (2012)

Commission staff working document “Report on the implementation of the e-commerce action plan” – 23/04/2013

The Commission published a report on progress made in the implementation of the e-commerce action plan.

The report shows that many important actions foreseen in the action plan have already been initiated:

  • reinforcing consumer protection (adoption of the “consumer agenda”, development of tools for administrative cooperation and better enforcement of EU law);
  • improving parcel delivery and payments (launch of public consultations);
  • fighting abuse (establishment of the European Cybercrime Center and definition of a cyber-security strategy);
  • integrating technological developments (cloud computing strategy, Communication on radio spectrum sharing, guidelines on state aids on broadband...).

Useful documents:

Communication ”A coherent framework to build trust in the Digital single market for e-commerce and online services“

On 11 January 2012, the European Commission adopted the Communication on e-commerce and other online services announced in the ”Digital Agenda“ and the ”Single Market Act“. Based on an in-depth public consultation, this Communication  sets out the Commission's vision for the potential represented by online services in growth and employment, identifies the principal obstacles to the development of e-commerce and online services, and establishes 5 priorities, accompanied by an action plan.

The Communication is accompanied by two staff working papers. The first conducts an analysis of the factors hindering the development of e-commerce and presents an evaluation of the E-Commerce Directive. The second presents a detailed analysis of the particular obstacles that have been identified as particularly relevant for e-commerce in products.

The Communication was adopted together with the Green Paper on Card, Internet, and Mobile payments.

Preparatory steps

A public consultation was conducted between August and November 2011 to analyse the reasons why electronic commerce remains limited to less than 4% of total retail service sales in the EU over 10 years after it started. It also sought to identify obstacles to the development of e-commerce and to evaluate the impact of the E-commerce Directive (2000/31/CE).

Issues covered in the consultation included: commercial communications of regulated professions such as pharmacists and lawyers; the development of the online press, the issue of the liability of internet intermediaries, administrative cooperation, on-line dispute resolution, etc.
420 responses were received. They have been summarised in a summary reportpdf Choose translations of the previous link