The strategy for a digital single market should help to foster innovation and cut red tape for start-ups, but also ensure consumer choice and protection, according to MEPs. The European Parliament has responded to the strategy proposed by the European Commission in 2015 with an own-initiative report. The report will feed into the upcoming legislative proposals, which can’t enter into force without the Parliament’s approval.
The digital single market is a priority for the European Commission. A fully implemented digital single market could boost the EU's gross domestic product with €415-500 billion every year, according to a study commissioned by Parliament.
However, in order to increase competitiveness and make the most of the digital market a number of issues will need to be resolved, such as updating the rules for copyright and simplifying VAT rules. In addition there are issues with data protection and the impact of new online platforms and consumption patterns.
In its report adopted on 19 January 2016 the Parliament welcomed the Commission's strategy, while also expressing concern about differing national approaches in regulating the internet and on-line businesses.
The telecoms legislative package, which has already been approved, forms an essential step of the strategy for the digital single market and includes putting an end to roaming charges by 2017 and guarantees for net neutrality.
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