EU aims to double e-commerce volume by 2015

The European Commission has unveiled a plan to encourage European consumers to make their purchases via the internet, thus hoping to lift the share of e-commerce in retail sales from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent by 2015.
At present, the internet accounts for less than 3 percent of the EU’s economy, as compared to several G8 countries, where the internet has accounted for 20 percent of economic growth and 25 percent of job growth during the last five years, according to EU’s portal,
The Commission aims to remove several barriers to the development of cross-border online shopping in Europe. The plan identifies five main obstacles to the Digital Single Market, including:
• the inadequacy concerning the supply of legal, cross-border online services,
• the lack of information for online service operators and the limited protection for internet users,
• the inadequacy of payment and delivery systems,
• an increased number of abuse and disputes which are difficult to settle
• the insufficient use of high-speed communication networks and hi-tech services.
“ The overall gain for consumers would be around EUR 204 billion (1.7 percent of European GDP) if ecommerce reached 15 percent of retail sales and if the obstacles to the Single Market were removed”, according to the Commission.
The European Commission will report on the progress achieved with the implementation of this action plan by publishing annual reports as well as reports on the implementation of the Directive on electronic commerce, and in coordination with the monitoring of the Single Market Act and the Digital Agenda for Europe.
In recent years, the EU has made several moves to remove obstacles to cross-border online shopping. In September 2010, The European Parliament revealed a series of proposals to eliminate barriers currently hampering cross-border e-trading across Europe.
As a consequence, members of the European Parliament (MEP) created a “trust mark” for websites that guarantee the reliability and quality of goods sold via the internet across borders.


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