On 6th May 2015 the European Commission published the Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe.
The Communication assumes the construction of a digital single market as an area of free movement of goods, persons, services and capital to which citizens and business have smooth access and can act freely on the online market in the conditions of fair competition, regardless of the nationality or country of residence. The Commission believes that creating a digital single market will provide new opportunities for citizens who will enjoy a wider choice of services at lower prices, and for companies that will have access to a market consisting of 500 million consumers.
The digital single market shall be based on three pillars:1) better access for consumers and business to digital goods and services across Europe
Under the indicated pillar, the Commission announced removal of the main barriers hindering entrepreneurs from running a cross-border business online. Simple and effective rules for consumers and business will be introduced. The assumed changes will affect, inter alia, the regulations concerning e-commerce, cross-border parcel delivery and VAT. Geo-blocking is to be prohibited.
2) creating the right conditions for the development of digital networks and services
The second pillar requires the creation of ultra-fast, secure and trustworthy infrastructure and services consisting in the provision of content as well as appropriate regulatory conditions to stimulate innovation and investment. It has been announced that a reform of the legislation on electronic communications, privacy and audiovisual media services will be launched within the aforementioned pillar. In addition, the Commission is to examine the role of the Internet platforms on the market.
3) maximising the growth potential of the European digital economy
In turn, the third pillar is to strengthen competitiveness, provide better public services and improve the use of digital technologies, which, in the opinion of the Commission, will require investment in infrastructure and technologies such as cloud computing and big data as well as conducting research and implementing innovations. To this end, the Commission will launch an initiative in the field of free transmission of data and a European Cloud. Moreover, a new e-government action plan 2016-2020 concerning facilitations for entrepreneurs will be presented.
The Communication is a non-binding instrument - the so-called soft law - issued by the EU institutions.
The content of the Communication is available on the EC webpage: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-4919_en.htm