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New Digital Single Market proposals are a step in the right direction, MEPs say


New initiatives to allow consumers and companies to buy and sell products and services online more easily across the EU were welcomed by most MEPs in a debate with Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, on Wednesday. Parliament will co-decide on equal footing with the EU Council of Ministers on the Digital Single Market legislative proposals.

The package to boost e-commerce in the EU, presented by the Commission at noon, includes proposals on unjustified geo-blocking, cross-border parcel delivery and enforcement of consumers' rights across borders. The Commission also presented a proposal to update the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive and a communication on online platforms.

In the debate, MEPs said they want to ensure that all citizens benefit from the Digital Single Market package presented by the Commission on 25 May, commended the plan not to take a common "one-size-fits-all" approach to online platforms, and called for enhanced transparency in the parcel delivery market. Some said that the geo-blocking proposal could have been more ambitious, referring to copyright issues. Others stressed that there is still a lot to be done in this field.

Replay videos of statements (first round of speakers)

Andrus ANSIP, Vice-President of the Commission in charge of Digital Single Market
Andreas SCHWAB (EPP, DE)
Evelyne GEBHARDT (S&D, DE)
Hans-Olaf HENKEL (ECR, DE)
Julia REDA (Greens/EFA, DE)
Barbara KAPPEL (ENF, AT)

Note to editors

The Digital Single Market Strategy includes 16 initiatives (legislative and non-legislative) to be presented by the end of this year. The EU Commission has already tabled legislative proposals on:

contracts for the supply of digital content (e.g. streaming music)
contracts for online and other distance sales of goods (e.g. buying clothes online)
cross-border portability of online content services (allowing people who legally buy content – films, books, football matches, TV series – to take it with them anywhere they go in Europe)
the use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band for mobile internet services in the EU

Parliament's recommendations to boost the digital single market were voted on 19 January 2016, in a resolution drafted by Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D, DE) and Kaja Kallas (ALDE, ET).

Further information

Gebhardt-Kallas resolution
Recording of the debate - video on demand (25.05.2016)
Audiovisual material for media
EP press release - Stop geo-blocking and boost e-commerce and digital innovation, says Parliament (19.01.2016)
EP Research briefings and studies on the Digital Single Market
Commission: Results of the public consultation on geo-blocking (18.03.2016)