European Parliament votes in favour of EU Digital Single Market

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The 16 Digital Single Market initiatives announced by the European Commission last May to boost the digital economy and innovation must be tabled without delay, MEPs insist.

The European Parliament voted against geo-blocking consumers’ online access to goods and services on the basis of their IP address, postal address or the country of issue of credit cards. The resolution described this practice as “unjustified” and said it must end.

MEPs also urged Europe to remove barriers to SMEs and to seize the opportunities opened up by new technologies such as Big Data, cloud computing, 3D printing and the Internet of Things.


Cross-border portability

In addition, MEPs voted in favour of a motion that improves cross-border portability of online content services within the EU. Described as a positive first step, MEPs called for regulations to be taken much further to ensure equal, future-proofed consumer protection, whether digital content was bought on or offline.

In a statement Parliament said it had concerns over the differing national approaches taken by EU member states with regards to internet regulation and the sharing economy.

The statement added that MEPs also requested a review into the ePrivacy directive to ensure consistency of its provisions with the new EU data protection rules.

“We have ensured that this report on the digitisation of the EU economy, society and public administrations determines legislative and non-legislative action to benefit consumers and to preserve Europe’s competitive social market economies”, said Internal Market Committee co-rapporteur Evelyne Gebhardt

The resolution will feed into the 16 initiatives that the Commission is to deliver by the end of 2016, according to its communication “A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe”. Parliament will co-legislate on equal footing with the EU Council of Ministers on the legislative proposals to boost the Digital Single Market.

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