Minister: Scrapping geoblocking in EU will open up e-commerce for Estonians (3)

Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kristen Michal. (Sander Ilvest/Postimees/Scanpix)
5/26/2016 9:20 PM
Source: BNS
Category: Business

Estonia's Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kristen Michal supports the proposal of the European Commission’s Vice President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip to do away with geoblocking in the EU, as it would ensure Estonians’ access to e-commerce throughout the union.

"In subsequent discussions of the initiative, the Commission can count on our strong support,” Michal stated in a press release, adding that without a digital single market, all European countries would lose out in terms of competitiveness.

“When the plan is implemented, Estonians will be able to buy goods and services in the online stores and on the e-commerce platforms of all EU member states,” Michal explained. “This is not [yet] possible today — which is why Ansip’s initiative is important.

The Estonian minister invited ministers from 14 member states as well as Commission Vice President Ansip to breakfast on Thursday in order to discuss how to move forward quickly in developing the EU digital single market.

Represented at the breakfast were Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK, as well as the next president of the EU, Slovakia. Estonia organized the meeting in conjunction with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE).

On Wednesday, the European Commission introduced a package of measures meant to boost e-commerce by tackling geoblocking — the restricting of access to internet content based upon a user’s geographical location — making cross-border package delivery more affordable and efficient as well as promoting customer trust through better protection and enforcement.

The e-commerce package is composed of three legislative proposals: the first addresses unjustified geoblocking and other forms of discrimination on the grounds of nationality, residence or establishment; the second is a proposal for cross-border parcel delivery services to increase transparency on pricing and improve regulatory oversight; the third proposal involves strengthening the enforcement of consumers’ rights and guidance.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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