Wanted: an one-stop-shop for ecommerce

Ecommerce Europe wants an one-stop-shop for better policy coordination for online sales issues. The association for online retailers would love to see an integrated perspective on key business factors in the European ecommerce industry. The topics this new institution should cover the most are consumer trust, security, privacy, online payments, e-logistics and sustainability.

The European Parliament elections take place from 22 to 25 May, and for Ecommerce Europe it’s a perfect timing to put such a subject on the agenda. It already created a web page dedicated to this topic. Ecommerce Europe wants to get rid of fragmentation and separation when it’s the ecommerce concerned. While the ecommerce industry in Europe had a total turnover of 358 billion euros last year and it was also one of the few industries that showed double-digit growth, it’s still a big challenge for online stores to go cross-border. There are too many rules, too many different laws, and these things aren’t helping a industry which could get Europe out of the financial misery.

Suggestions for a better ecommerce industry in Europe
In a paper Ecommece Europe has written, the organization proposes an integrated perspective on five key policy areas: Internet security & privacy, consumer rights, e-payments, tax issues and e-logistics. For example, they suggest the European Commission to focus on the harmonization of privacy and data protection legislation. They also believe that a pan-European trust mark should be developed by the industry itself, rather than by a European legislator. Ecommerce Europe would also like to lower payment costs for consumers and retailers, as well as interoperability of payment systems between all member states and all online devices, so the mobile commerce market can thrive even more.

One week ago, Jean-Claude Juncker, who is heading to succeed Barroso as head of the European Commission, said that his presidency would be dedicated to the digital transformation. “It would be foolish not to embrace new technologies”, he wrote in an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal. ““The Internet and digital communications can transform our economies as profoundly as the steam engine did in the 18th century or electricity did in the 19th century.”