Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Workshop on geo-blocking and other geographically-based restrictions when shopping and accessing information in the EU

Workshop on geo-blocking and other geographically-based restrictions when shopping and accessing information in the EU
Published on: 22/02/2016
The objectives of this event are to present developments from the European Commission including the available options, gather input on different situations, and discuss when geo-blocking and discrimination can be justified and when they cannot.
Event date: 18/02/2016

Structure of the workshop

A 1-day seminar – 10h00 to 16h30, possibility for participants to attend until 13h00.

9h00-10h00 – Welcome coffee

  • 10h00-10h30 – Welcome address from the Dutch Presidency / Introduction by the European Commission
  • 10h30-11h30 – Discussing problems: report on mystery shopping/(webscraping study)/outcome of public consultation/e-commerce sector enquiry/ private studies (60 minutes)
    • Case-study: researcher / Paypal?
    • Commission speaker
    • Consumer representative
    • Q&As

11h30-11h45 – coffee break

  • 11h45-12h30 – Interest-based groups: splitting the audience into two groups (service providers/service recipients) to
    • discuss the potential impact of the proposed options
    • identify cases / reasons which can/cannot justify differences of treatment
      Commission moderator for each group / reporting in plenary

12h30-13h30 – lunch break

  • 13h30-14h30 – The "real story" involving mixed groups (consumers/businesses) discussing concrete cases and answering the following questions:
    • Is this unjustified geo-blocking/discrimination?
    • Can the reason for geo-blocking/discrimination be based on "objective criteria"?
    • plenary presentation of outcomes.
  • 14h30-15h30 – Round table discussions on:
    • How to improve transparency and access to information?
    • Sanctions, Problem-solving: how to ensure compliance?
  • 15h30-16h00: Conclusions