​Five Key areas to transform the Digital Single Market in the European Union

24-Jun-2015 @ 1:0

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Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

The Digital Single Market is an important step in the modernisation of the European economy.

The Digital Single Market could contribute €415 billion to the European economy, boosting jobs, growth, competition, investment and innovation. It can expand markets and foster better services at lower prices, offer more choice, and create new sources of employment. It can create opportunities for new start-ups and allow existing companies to grow and profit within a market of over 500 million people.

The UK holds a strong position as a market leader in digital technologies, however only 8.3% of our SME’s are currently selling their products across europe. There is a clear need for modernisation and reform within the single market to open it up to the digital marketplace.

Conservative MEP’s are campaigning for change the following five areas:

Clarity of choice and protection for consumers

Consumers deserve choice and confidence when shopping online.

They deserve the choice of being able to find the product they want, at the price they want to pay and have the confidence that the goods they've ordered will arrive when they expect them.

72% of internet users within the European Union are concerned about how their information is used. Consumer trust is important, knowing that you can pay safely and securely in an easy way and that if things go wrong you have the ability to return a good, or be repaid or refunded, just like on the high street. Because of this we are campaigning for clearer, stronger legislation that will provide this for consumers.

Increased access to digital technology for business

The digital market must work for business.

All industrial sectors should be able to integrate new technologies and manage the transition to a smart industrial system. We must help traditional companies to compete in a digital world and make it simpler to operate online. Businesses want to know that there is a level playing field.

Competition rules are the glue that hold the single market together. They must be modernised and made fit for purpose in a digital age.

Only 8% of our SME’s sell across the EU, citing confusing rules, increased VAT and delivery costs as important restrictions.

49% of these SME’s say they would increase their European sales drive if this red tape was cut. The market must work for businesses of all size, which is why we want to change the rules for cross border VAT including providing an exemption for microbusinesses.

This would make it easier for British businesses to have access to a marketplace of over 500 million consumers, boosting jobs and growth.

Increased safety Online

We must make sure our internet is safe.

This is why we're working with our European partners and others across the world on to deal with issues like the fight against cybercrime, and protecting children online.

The UK is already often leading the way, such as with the work of organisations like the Internet Watch Foundation but there is more that can be done.

Increased support of Innovators

We need to support our innovators and our digital entrepreneurs, so that our market place remains vibrant, diverse and exciting.

The UK is leading the world in areas like fintech. We know that crowd-funding and peer to peer financing has really helped many people to start up a company.

The digital revolution also has huge implications for science. Big data brings big benefits to research in health, the environment and society.

We want to enable researchers to unlock those benefits whilst also making sure that personal data is protected.

Increased access to Creative Content

And finally, but importantly, there's a clear need to moodernise policy on digital music, video and books.

Over half the people in the UK already download or stream content onto tablets and smartphones. Surely they should be able to take their songs with them when they travel abroad? By giving more rights to consumers we will free them to consume content as and where they want through their own channels – without resorting to piracy.

EU copyright rules date back to 2001. New rules are needed to respond to new technologies, consumer behaviour and market conditions. The 2001 framework allows a large number of exceptions and discrepancy. It is essential to reduce national discrepancies and work on a simpler copyright framework to offer greater legal certainty in a number of sectors.

Creators need to be paid for their content, which is why we also need to modernise - and properly enforce - copyright law.

Watch our video on the challenges and opportunities of the digital single market to find out more.


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