8th Meeting of the IMCO Working Group on Digital Single Market

Meeting for the eighth time, the members of the IMCO Working Group on the Digital Single Market (DSM) convened on June 20th to discuss four proposed regulations prepared by the European Commission: geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination, cross-border parcel delivery, consumer protection cooperation and cross-border portability of online services. Chaired by Roza Grafin von Thun und Hohenstein (MEP), the meeting featured a panel composed by three experts – Anthony Williams (DEEP Centre), Felice Simonelli (CEPS) and Bob Schmitz (ULC). Mr Williams pointed out the substantial differences between the US and the EU digital markets, stressing that a fully integrated DSM is key to boosting e-commerce, favouring digital entrepreneurship in Europe and putting forward solutions to improve the DSM strategy. Mr Simonelli discussed the pros and cons of the current legislative proposals, identified the main issues on which the EP and the Council must work and urged the prompt removal of any barriers impinging on the functioning of the DSM, whose completion is expected to generate yearly benefits up to €415 billion. Mr Schmitz concurred with Mr Simonelli on the basic limitations of the current proposals and focused on the revision of the highly ambitious and complex Regulation on consumer protection cooperation, which is expected to trigger an in-depth debate in the Parliament. The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A session animated by remarks made by MEPs and representatives of the Commission, who generally agreed on the merits of moving forward quickly towards the creation of a well-functioning DSM.