The European Union and E-Commerce

EU Regulation of E-Commerce. A Commentary Elgar Commentaries series, 2017, p. 1-14.

18 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2017 Last revised: 23 Mar 2017

See all articles by Arno R. Lodder

Arno R. Lodder

Vrije Universiteit - Dep. Transnational Legal Studies - CLI/Center for Law and Internet

A.D. Murray

London School of Economics - Law Department

Date Written: March 1, 2017

Abstract

The European Union has a long history of investment in, encouragement for, and development of, electronic commerce and for more than 20 years has established a strong, and mostly coherent, regulatory framework for the e-commerce sector. We can date the EU’s interest in e-commerce to at least the November 1996 Communication from the Commission Putting Services to Work. However that early interest from the Commission took a while to infiltrate further into EU institutions. In April 1997 the European Commission took forward the Putting Services to Work Communication and issued their now well-known initiative “A European Initiative on Electronic Commerce”. For the first time the Commission stated its intent to: “encourage the vigorous growth”, recognized the “fundamental importance of electronic commerce in Europe”, and envisioned for the European Union to become “the heartland of electronic commerce”. These undeniably high expectations have not all been realized.

Against the backdrop of this fluid and dynamic economic, social and regulatory framework lawyers, both in practice and in academia, are often asked to explain the regulatory framework. In such a complex and fast moving arena asking any one lawyer to remain informed of the entire legal-regulatory framework seems unreasonable. For this reason we asked a series of contributors to each contribute a chapter within their area of expertise to provide an invaluable single resource for lawyers, academics, students and businesses both already within and entering the European e-commerce marketplace. Following on from this introductory chapter, the most important EU initiatives relevant to e-commerce are discussed.

As with all Internet law related topics global regulations are ideal, but difficult to realize. This may change over time as more digital natives take positions in lawmaking and regulatory enforcement bodies. This though is still some way off and therefore for the moment we keep our focus on the European Union, but maybe one day the classic approach to state sovereignty and jurisdiction in relation to e-commerce will be replaced by a globally oriented approach.

Keywords: e-commerce,European Union, digital markets

Suggested Citation

Lodder, Arno R. and Murray, Andrew D., The European Union and E-Commerce (March 1, 2017). EU Regulation of E-Commerce. A Commentary Elgar Commentaries series, 2017, p. 1-14.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2925882

Arno R. Lodder (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit - Dep. Transnational Legal Studies - CLI/Center for Law and Internet ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Andrew D. Murray

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
020 7849 4645 (Phone)
020 7955 7366 (Fax)

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