Stop geo-blocking and boost digital single market with apps
Geo-blocking practices such as discrimination based on IP address, postal address or the country of issue of credit cards, must end to improve EU consumers' access to goods and services, say internal market and industry MEPs in a draft resolution to be debated and voted on Tuesday. They call for the swift adoption of the 16 digital single market initiatives announced by the Commission last May.
EU laws regulating the digital single market should allow new opportunities for users and businesses and new innovative cross-border online services at competitive prices to emerge and grow; remove barriers between member states and facilitate access for European businesses, in particular SMEs and start-ups, to cross-border markets, as a key driver for growth and employment in the EU, says the draft resolution.
MEPs are concerned that the member states are currently pursuing different approaches towards regulating the internet and the sharing economy, which represents new business models for selling goods and services online (for example, Uber, eBay or Airbnb). They point to the opportunities that new technologies, such as big data, cloud computing or 3D-printing, could create for the economy and society.
This non-binding resolution is Parliament's response to the EU Commission's communication "A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe", presented on 6 May 2015. MEPs examine the 16 initiatives to be delivered by the Commission by the end of this year, elaborate further on actions to be taken to complete the digital single market and the consequences the implementation of the digital single market will have on society and the economy as a whole.
Currently, only 1.7% of EU enterprises are making full use of advanced digital technologies and only 14% of SMEs are using the internet as a sales channel. In 2013, the market size of the sharing economy was around 3.5 billion worldwide, and today the Commission is forecasting a growth potential that exceeds 100 billion.
Procedure: non-legislative resolution
Debate/vote: Tuesday, 19 January
Press conference: Tuesday, 19 January, 15.00