With the European elections taking place between 23 and 26 May, Ecommerce Europe has some useful recommendations as to what European policy makers need to do for a fairer and more lucrative e-commerce environment.
Ecommerce Europe has a lot of ideas how those involved in European e-commerce can meet the challenges ahead. More than anything else, a global, level playing field would foster better competition. E-commerce is a global phenomenon that doesn't recognize borders, so why should it have to? Here are ten recommendations for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to consider.
1. Find A Global Solution
"The taxation system should ensure a level-playing field so that companies are taxed in a fair, non-discriminatory and channel neutral way. Thus, EU leaders should push in favor of international efforts and end the discussions around the introduction of unilateral solutions at EU or national level."
2. Create A Transparent And Fair Parcel Delivery System
"Current parcel streams are ill-fitted to accommodate global e-commerce. The postal channel became the facilitator of counterfeiting, VAT and customs fraud. Policymakers shall introduce mandatory traceability for all parcels delivered by any operator, a prerequisite for all functional Digital Single Market."
3. Secure A Fair Business Environment Online
"Ecommerce marketplaces are without doubt engines of European growth. The EU needs to find the right balance between their interests and the interests of online merchants, especially smaller ones, which depend even more on marketplaces."
4. Implement Simple, Harmonized Rules And Better Control
"Current regulations are too complicated to be understood for both consumers and businesses, specifically SMEs. But simple rules mean easier and better compliance for online merchants."
5. Create Channel-neutral Regulations
"The EU should create channel-neutral regulations. A shop should be able to easily offer different sales combinations without any unreasonable legislative burdens for traders."
6. Enforce Adequate Safeguards For Online Shopping
"Policymakers need to ensure that adequate safeguards against cyber attacks, fraud or unsafe products are implemented to maintain trust. Keep monitoring the evolution of fraud in online payments, but don’t develop too much red tape and hamper innovation."
7. Build An Innovative and Competitive Crossborder Payment Landscape
"To foster cross-border trade, interoperability between payment systems of Member States is essential. There should be an integral approach to the payment systems market."
8. Boost Innovation And Implement New Technologies
"The EU is still lagging behind compared to its competitors in the development of technologies such as AI and blockchain. They need to boost financial support for companies developing these technologies."
9. Recognize The Importance Of Digital Education
"There is an acute need for human resources with digital skills. The EU needs to invest in and promote digital skills starting from early education and through life-long learning programs."
10. Boost Connectivity Across Europe
"Some areas of the European Union are still left behind. Delivering parcels in these areas is challenging and shopping and selling online prove to be difficult due to poor Internet connectivity. Europe needs to allocate substantial resources to improve transport infrastructure and fast Internet connectivity."
With all of this information in mind, policy makers, online retailers and others working in the branch can work together, achieving an ideal situation for the future of e-commerce.