It is the new direction in developing EU consumer protection measures. It was adopted by the Commission in 2015. This strategy is the EU’s answer to the recent technological changes that have reshaped the functioning of the European economy, bringing forward both challenges and opportunities for growth (i.e. the internet as the main economic driver, digitalisation, use of data, etc.). The proposals put forward as a part of the strategy either directly or indirectly, work towards enhancing the welfare of consumers.
The focus of the Digital Single Market strategy is:
The Main Ideas of the Digital Single Market
The main ideas are:
- to eliminate the key differences between online and offline worlds,
- to break down barriers to cross-border online activities
In other words, the Digital Single Market aims to open up the technology-driven internal market to businesses and consumers, by removing barriers that disrupt its full application and adding incentives to encourage EU citizens to make full use of it.
The European Parliament’s Role
The European Parliament is closely monitoring the implementation of the Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy roadmap and has therefore adopted a resolution entitled, ‘Towards a Digital Single Market Act’.
Currently, extensive legislative work on the proposals presented is in course as a follow-up to the Digital Single Market Strategy (DSM) and the resolution ‘Towards a Digital Single Market Act’ addressing issues such as:
- unjustified geo-blocking
- cross-border parcel delivery
- cross-border portability of online content services
Shortly before the European Elections, a revision of the Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation for the audiovisual media services contracts and for online and other distance sales contracts for the supply of digital content, was amended by the European Parliament.
European Commission. (n.d.). Written question – Digital Single Market Regulation: Where is the impact assessment? – E-010608/2013. Retrieved from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT WQ E-2013-010608 0 DOC XML V0//EN&language=EN
European Commission. (2018, August 01). Consumer protection cooperation regulation. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/consumers/consumer-protection-cooperation-regulation_en
European Parliament. (n.d.). Search results. Retrieved from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb/search/simple.htm?reference=P8_TA(2016)0009
European Parliament. (n.d.). COM_COM(2016)0285. Retrieved from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb/search/simple.htm?reference=COM_COM(2016)0285
European Parliament. (2016, April 20). Legislative train schedule: Connected Digital Single Market. Retrieved from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-connected-digital-single-market/file-a-digital-single-market-act
Written by Foteini Stathopoulou, Communications Specialist Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament and General Coordinator of the Schuman Trainees Committee of Luxembourg.