The purpose of the workshop is to debate the most important barriers that affect the digital economy in Europe, from the perspectives of both consumers and businesses, and identify potential European solutions to address them.

Europe does not yet have a Single Market adapted to the digital world. This affects already established digital sectors (such as e-commerce, where uptake is still slow in Europe), but also new emerging technologies such as the sharing economy, cloud, big data or M2M communication). Solutions promoted at national level create fragmentation and affect companies from thriving from a market of more than 500 million consumers.

Consumers often complain about a lack of knowledge about their rights and obligations in cross-border transactions. When they do make the decision to buy from another Member State, they often encounter payment or lack of access issues that act as a deterrent from trying to act cross-border at a later date.

Companies encounter significant administrative burden. They must know different consumer protection rules and accept expensive parcel delivery solutions, which translates into high costs or situations when they simply refuse to sell. The increasing dominance of e-commerce intermediary platforms means the proliferation of rigid terms and conditions, high fees and a lack of visibility for e-commerce companies.

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Draft programme

18/06/2015 Workshop 4: A Digital Single Market for businesses and consumers

30 April 2015
Last update: 
9 May 2017
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