This leaflet provides abstracts of selection of latest publications prepared by the European Parliament’s Policy Department on Economic and Scientific Policy at the request of the IMCO Committee in relation to the geo-blocking phenomenon.
Online buyers will have wider and easier cross-border access to products, hotel bookings, car rentals, music festivals or leisure park tickets in the EU.
Geo-blocking practices commonly restrict cross-border sales of tangible goods as well as of electronically supplied services and electronically delivered content services in the EU. In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of tangible goods, and of some types of electronically supplied services, from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. In November 2017, after protracted negotiations, the co-legislators agreed to ban some types of unjustified geo-blocking practices. However, the ban will not apply initially to content and services protected under copyright (for instance, e-books and downloads of music and audiovisual content). At the request of the Parliament, a review clause has been introduced which requires the Commission to re-examine the situation two years after the entry into force of the regulation.
Good news for online shoppers: geo-blocking and country redirects could stop by the end of 2018 in the EU under new rules to be adopted by MEPs.
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has adopted its position on the mid-term review of the Digital Single Market. Rapporteur Alin Nica (RO/EPP), Mayor of Dudeștii Noi, highlights that cities and regions are in key position to harness the growth potential of the digital economy but draws attention to the digital divide, the prevention of cyberattacks and the protection of personal data.
In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of physical goods and of some types of electronically supplied services and content from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. The Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the February I plenary session.
Update: a revised agenda has been published.
Agenda items include information on the report of the Project Group on E-commerce, a debriefing on the EU-China Joint Follow-up Group on Drug Precursors, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and on the meeting of the EU-US Joint Follow-up Group.
Update: outcome and way forward following the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11)