The European Commission is Exploring Cross-border Trade
European Commission

The European Commission has been actively exploring the role of several online companies in recent months. The aim to to explore their role in the European retail landscape and how their online services might impact products and services being sold across borders in the ‘real’ world, rather than online.

The recent proposals made as part of the ‘digital single market package’ are intended to harmonise rules around the Web and Internet infrastructure and to apply to all 28 EU member states. The intention is to make web services in Europe function much more as if there is just one state – removing many of the cross-border issues that I recently blogged about here.

The Commission believes that if these cross-border trading issues are removed inside the EU then 3.8 million jobs could be created and €14.8bn added to European GDP. In addition to exploring issues around trade across borders the commission intends to explore how to harmonise copyright between all member states.

At present less than 4% of video-on-demand can be watched across the entire EU due to various rights restrictions. Harmonising the rules can help the music, film, and publishing industries all sell cross-border more efficiently.

Many cross-border trade restrictions are natural, such as currency differences or distance for a delivery to be made, but if the European Commission can start exploring how online sales really work and to streamline many of these processes it could be a genuine catalyst for change in Europe.

Do you think these rules changes will make a difference in the EU? Leave a comment here.


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