The Digital Single Market: Are We There Yet?

03 December 2013 Author: EIFonline

At the recent European Council meeting EU leaders focused on the digital economy. It was concluded that the strong digital economy is vital for growth and European competitiveness in a globalised world. Therefore the end of November was a great opportunity to host an EIF dinner debate on the Digital Single Market.

Malcolm Harbour, MEP and EIF Governor, led the organization of this debate focusing on creating a consumer friendly digital single market.

Claire Bury, Director of the Directorate E (Services) at DG Internal Market and Services, European Commission, took the floor first to present the Commission’s work on the digital single market.  She presented the progress of the communication on e-commerce and other online services and the upcoming roadmap for completing the single market for parcel delivery: Building consumer trust in delivery services and encouraging online sales which aims to boost e-commerce in the EU by providing e-retailers and consumers with parcel delivery services that meet their needs in terms of quality, accessibility and affordability. Ms Bury also presented the Commission’s digital single market priorities for next year, which includes the review of copyright policy, guidelines on the non-discrimination of service recipients, which prohibits discrimination by service providers on grounds of the nationality or the place of residence of their customers, and creation of the online guide for SMEs to go online and sell cross border. 

Click here to listen to Claire Bury’s full speech:


Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce, represented European retail, wholesale, and other trading companies. He noted that for the digital single market to work well we need a proper digital infrastructure across the continent as well as digitally savvy Europeans. Also, Mr Verschueren stressed the need for trust between consumers and retailers and visa-versa.

Click here to listen to Christian Verschueren’s full speech:


Penelope Naas, Vice-President and Head of EMEA Public Affairs at UPS, talked about the parcel delivery company's role in the Digital Single Market. She noted that e-commerce growth brought new challenges for the company to look for more sustainable, affordable and consumer friendly ways of delivery. 


Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, represented consumers at this debate. Ms Goyens noted that numerous problems like territorial discrimination, cross border banking, and copyrights still makes the digital single market fragmented and unfriendly to consumers. 

Click here to listen to Monique Goyens’ full speech:


 

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