How to drive e-commerce?

On 11 January 2012, European Commission adopted the 2012 Communication on e-commerce and other online services that aim to double the retails online sales and the weight of Internet sector in European GDP. The Communication identifies 5 priorities and is accompanied by a 16 goals action plan.


As I already wrote in my post on Cloud Computing , the Digital Internal Market is a goal worth achieving, and reducing legislation is an important path to be followed.  For example existing general rules on data and consumer protection should apply to all players. The development of the sector will be responsible for economic growth and will have many societal benefits. Internet Economy is responsible for the creation of 2,6 jobs[1] for every “off-line” job.


Digital Trust and Confidence is the main argument in implementing a digital single market. In order to create a common framework, the keywords for stakeholders must be compliance, transparency trust and accountability.


Ensuring a competitive market is the best way to improve e-commerce. Transparency for consumers gives the market the necessary flexibility to develop without stifling innovation and the appearance of new business models.


Telefónica recommends[2] that the EU focus its efforts on more pressing obstacles to electronic commerce, such as:


- reforming the online content licensing regime and creating a true Digital Single Market;


- facilitating innovative payments mechanisms, which could help to foster new business models for content creators;


- helping to create trust for citizens online through revised data protection rules which offer a consistent and confident experience when using electronic communications services;


- setting clear rules to encourage investment in the next generation of networks, through which new services can be delivered, and more of Europe’s citizens connected;


- harmonising consumer protection rules so that it is easier for SMEs to offer their products and services with confidence across the Single Market.


You can find the European Commission Communication on e-commerce here and the press release here


View Telefónica’s response to the public consultation on the subject here



Luis Planas Herrera is stagiaire in Public Policy at Telefónica's International Office



[1] MEMO/12/5 – EC



[2] As mentioned in Telefónica’s response to t the Public consultation on the future of electronic commerce in the internal market and the implementation of the Directive on electronic commerce (2000/31/EC)