Today, the European Commission presented a new package of measures to strengthen the European Single Market. In the future, consumers as well as companies should be able to manage their paperwork online, for example when working, living or doing business in another EU country. Moreover, the measures shall promote compliance with the commonly agreed rules.
These central initiatives were adopted today:
- A Single Digital Gateway shall ensure better access for European consumers to high quality information, online administrative procedures and assistance services through a single digital entry point. For instance, some key administrative procedures must be made available online - for example, the application for social benefits or a birth certificate. Important citizen data collected by national authorities must hence only be submitted once and can then be reused for most cross-border procedures at the request of the user.
- The Single Market Information Tool enables the Commission to request sensitive business information on, for instance, suspected geo-blocking practices or the pricing and underlying costs of cross-border parcel delivery. This helps to guarantee compliance with Single Market regulations and consumer protection.
- The SOLVIT Action Plan envisions a free service to provide solutions to citizens and companies facing difficulties with public administrations while moving or doing cross-border business.
Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), commented: “We welcome the Commission’s initiatives to improve the consumer experience of the Single Market. (…) Consumers are generally more concerned about their rights when buying something from a foreign trader than a domestic one. Consumers would benefit from there being a central place to consult their rights. The Commission should test it on real consumers to make sure it responds to their actual needs. The Gateway should also inform consumers about what they can do when something goes wrong during their stay in a foreign country or when shopping cross-border.”
Source: European Commission and the European Consumer Organization BEUC