Parliamentary questions
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23 February 2021
O-000010/2021
Question for oral answer  O-000010/2021
to the Commission
Rule 136
Anna Cavazzini
on behalf of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 Subject: Evaluation of the Geo-blocking Regulation

Regulation (EU) 2018/302 prohibits unjustified geographical restrictions in the sale of goods and services within the EU, and started applying in December 2018 as part of the digital single market package of measures adopted to facilitate cross-border e-commerce and to give consumers equal rights to access a trader’s goods or services, under the same terms, irrespective of their location, thus contributing to the avoidance of market fragmentation. On 30 November 2020, the Commission published its first evaluation report analysing the first 18 months of implementation (COM(2020)766)(1).

Although the report indicates some initial positive effects of the Regulation, such as a decrease in the blocking of access to websites or rerouting of consumers to other websites, several obstacles remain, notably due to residence or payment location requirements at the registration and payment stages, as wells as with regard to the enforcement of the Regulation.

1. Significant delays in implementing the Geo-blocking Regulation were observed in most Member States. What concrete steps will the Commission take to ensure that enforcement is not only available, but that it is also consistent and effective across all Member States? How is the Commission planning to further enhance the oversight and enforcement activities of the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network?

2. Although not directly addressed by the Regulation, delivery limitations in cross-border shopping still affect more than 50 % of shopping attempts, frustrating consumer expectations. What actions will the Commission undertake to facilitate cross-border engagement of traders and to strengthen the single market?

3. The review clause provides for an assessment of the scope of the Regulation. The evaluation report identifies an increasing demand for cross-border access to audiovisual services, the availability of which is often geo-blocked. To address this issue, the Commission has announced it will engage in a stakeholder dialogue with a view to fostering circulation of quality content across the EU. What are the concrete objectives and improvements the Commission expects the industry to commit to? Will the Commission propose an amendment of this Regulation if the objectives are not met?

Submitted: 23/02/2021

Lapses: 24/05/2021

(1)Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Social and Economic Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the first short-term review of the Geo-blocking Regulation.
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