The European Commission has adopted a communication entitled "A European initiative on electronic commerce". This identifies four key areas in which action must be taken by the year 2000 if Europe is to benefit from this new way of doing business. Electronic commerce refers to any activity which involves enterprises interacting and doing business with customers, with each other or with administrations by electronic means. It includes electronic and on-line ordering and payment for goods which are delivered by post or courier, as well as on-line delivery of goods and services such as publications and software. Also included in electronic commerce are activities such as share trading, auctions, collaborative design and engineering, marketing and after-sales services. The four key objectives outlined in the Commission's communication are: - Provision of widespread, affordable access to the infrastructure, products and services needed for electronic commerce; - Creation of a favourable regulatory framework for electronic commerce in the EU, within the context of the Single Market. In particular, this will affect taxation and intellectual property rights; - Fostering a favourable business environment for electronic commerce by promoting skills and raising awareness of the potential of the cyber economy; - Ensuring the regulatory framework at global level is coherent and compatible with that of the EU.
Policy making and guidelines
15 September 1997