The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on the Commission communication on a European initiative in the field of electronic commerce. The resolution, drafted by Mrs. Erika Mann on behalf of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy, was adopted on 14 May 1998. It was drafted with full consideration to submissions from interested parties received in response to an open letter for contributions, published in autumn 1997. The Parliament supports the Commission's thinking, recognizing the need for the creation of a regulatory framework at a European level, in order to influence, and ensure compatibility with, a global regulatory framework. The need for international agreements in this area, and in particular international policy coordination is underlined. In the interim, the resolution calls for the negotiation of a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the USA on data protection, emphasizing the need for a simple, minimalist and predictable legal framework in this context. The impact of electronic commerce on employment is recognized, and the Commission initiative to investigate and report on this impact is also supported. The resolution states that the potential for new job creation should also be fully exploited, and adequate training and information provided to all parties affected, including SMEs and consumers. The need for adequate redress mechanisms in the field of electronic commerce is also emphasized, with the creation of an international arbitration mechanism being supported. In relation to research, the Parliament's opinion is that the "Creating a User-friendly Information Society" thematic programme under the upcoming Fifth RTD Framework Programme must support the development of technical standards specific to electronic commerce, and support generic network technologies such as database access management, search engines and network management. Research programmes, both national and European, should also include efforts to boost technical capacity in order to reduce costs.
Policy making and guidelines
15 September 1997