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ECR Digital Single Market policy group publishes discussion paper

4 May 2015

ECR Digital Single Market policy group publishes discussion paper

Ahead of the European Commission’s publication of its Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy on Wednesday, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group’s DSM Policy Group has published a discussion paper with ideas and suggestions for inclusion in the document. The paper has been submitted to Commission Vice-President Ansip.

Ahead of the European Commission’s publication of its Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy on Wednesday, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group’s DSM Policy Group has published a discussion paper with ideas and suggestions for inclusion in the document. The paper has been submitted to Commission Vice-President Ansip.

Chair of the Policy Group, Vicky Ford MEP, said the ECR wants a strategy that will create an environment that is friendly to both consumers and businesses by unlocking the benefits of digital advances, removing barriers to trade to stimulate ecommerce, empowering consumers, and supporting businesses, creators and investors.
She said:
“Currently around six percent of European businesses sell online to other EU countries. A Digital Single Market brings huge potential for European businesses – especially small businesses – to trade, cut costs for consumers, boost economic growth and create more jobs.
“We need to make the Single Market fit for a digital era by building trust with consumers, businesses, creators and investors. There are many gaps in EU law which impede the proper functioning of digital markets and this strategy should seek to iron them out.
“The EU cannot create a Digital Single Market by itself, but it can create the right environment so that businesses want to sell across the EU, and consumers have the confidence to buy from across Europe just as easily as they would buy from their local store. This paper sets out some of the areas we believe the Commission should focus on in order to make the Single Market go digital.”

ENDS

Read the paper here: http://ecrgroup.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/DSM-policy-group-paper-on-the-DSM-strategy-April-2015.pdf

Key proposals put forward by the policy group are:

• Competitiveness tests on any new legislation and ensuring that all proposals are future-proof and technologically-neutral. Evaluating the implementation of existing rules must also be prioritised
• Making it easier for businesses to set up electronically within 24 hours, and finding out all their obligations online
• Improving delivery of goods ordered on-line and promoting cross-border track-and-trace systems for deliveries
• Prices for digital products and services should not change unfairly according to a consumer’s location as this decreases online trust
• Enabling secure digital currencies and innovative payments methods to enable trade
• Promoting the provision of public services digitally by sharing best practice
• Targeted measures to ensure consumer trust in digital goods, such as model
contracts and online review tools, rather than a full-scale revision of the Consumer Rights Directive
• Consumers should be able to access lawfully available content on fair and
reasonable terms across the EU, recognising that portability of goods and services is a key principle of the Single Market that should be reflected in the digital sphere; creators should also be fairly remunerated
• Reforms must be targeted, based on robust evidence, and support Europe’s
diverse creative industries, one of our richest resources for job creation in the future
• Improving accessibility for people with disabilities
• Targeted and technology-neutral copyright reforms, based on robust evidence, that ensure the single market works for creators, supporting innovation, research and consumer choice
• Urgent reforms to remove the bureaucratic burden on micro businesses of cross border VAT, by creating a threshold, (a Pan-European Exemption for Pan-European VAT) and a single process for registering to pay VAT
• Measures to promote private sector investment in network infrastructure, and to support and increase innovative financing for digital entrepreneurs
• More ambitious EU targets for broadband, increasing them from 30MBPS to 100MBPS where demand exists for example around tech clusters
• A legal framework to encourage innovation looking forward to the development of the ‘Internet of things’, whilst protecting people’s data
• A clear transitional arrangement towards ending roaming charges, whilst ensuring that domestic customers do not experience price hikes ahead of a review of wholesale prices
• Stronger consumer elements in the EU’s Telecoms Package such as the right to switch providers and ensuring consumers can terminate contracts if service is below expectation
• Sharing of best practice and information between national regulators to ensure spectrum is available for new technology
• Ensuring an open and fair internet with greater transparency in areas such as search engines and ecommerce platforms
• Stronger cybercrime measures to protect vital infrastructure such as banks and hospitals, better education to help parents and children protect themselves online, and adequate resources and expertise for Europol and the Cybercrime centre to combat modern threats
• A proper framework for international and EU cooperation to protect children online and detect and eliminate abuse images online, with enforceable rules to ensure children can only access age-appropriate material. It should not be considered censorship to ban images or videos of child sexual exploitation
• A review of Safe Harbour to reflect changes in attitudes and technology
• Swift agreement of the Data Protection Framework that gives people better control over their data whilst also supporting innovation and creativity. Rules should be effective and workable. Too much bureaucracy will turn investment away at a time when it is vital to attract it
• A regulatory environment to accommodate the pervasiveness of ‘Big Data’ that supports new technologies and their application
• Promoting international standards for cloud computing to enable accessibility and security in cloud services

Contact:Vicky Ford: +32 228 45672

ECR Press Office, James Holtum on +32 473 861762; james.holtum@europarl.europa.eu

The ECR was created to take the EU in a new direction, according to the principles of our founding Prague Declaration.
For more information on the ECR, watch our promotional video at http://youtu.be/F5syQt1JuQI or visit our website: www.ecrgroup.eu

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