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Commissioner Papoutsis stresses that commerce must not shy away from the challenge of the information society

In his address on 24 March 1995 to the annual plenary session of the Committee on Commerce and Distribution (CCD), the European Commission's advisory body on internal trade , Mr. Christos Papoutsis, Commissioner responsible for enterprise policy, said that commerce must not sh...
In his address on 24 March 1995 to the annual plenary session of the Committee on Commerce and Distribution (CCD), the European Commission's advisory body on internal trade , Mr. Christos Papoutsis, Commissioner responsible for enterprise policy, said that commerce must not shy away from the challenge of the information society.

The Commissioner underlined the key role played by commerce and distribution in the information society and their position as major users of new information technologies. He pointed out that over 20 million people were employed in retailing and wholesaling, making the sector the second largest employer in Europe. He particularly stressed the need for modernization to develop and strengthen the sector, and that consumers in particular would benefit from a greater choice of goods and services at lower prices.

The Commission has already taken an active role in helping commerce and distribution to meet the challenges posed by the information society, including support for vital pilot projects through the Community's "COMMERCE 2000" programme, and is preparing actions in favour of local commerce. It also has an obvious contribution to make in providing a legislative framework for the implementation of new technologies, essential in ensuring the neutrality of access to information networks and markets, as well as a clearly defined role for the actors involved.

Noting that the CCD has decided to set up an Information Society Working Group, the Commissioner welcomed its ideas for ways in which to use the new possibilities offered and appealed to all CCD members to identify those areas in which they wanted the Commission to take further steps to help the sector adapt to the technological revolution.
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