CERRE contributes to IMCO debate on E-commerce Directive


On 18 February 2020, CERRE’s Academic Director, Professor Alexandre de Streel took part in a workshop for the IMCO Committee on the reform of the E-commerce directive aimed at contributing to the European Parliament’s own-initiative report on "Digital Services Act: improving the functioning of the Single Market".

During his speech, Professor de Streel highlighted the initial objectives and pillars of the Directive and took stock of the changes that have happened since then.

The objective of the Directive as set originally was to develop both e-commerce and the internal market at the same time. “The more e-commerce you have, the more internal market you will have; and the better internal market you have, the easier it will be for e-commerce platforms to scale-up”, he explained.

He concluded that the Directive has delivered very well and has brought significant benefits to consumers and businesses. He emphasised the need to protect these benefits and possibly to improve the system of cooperation between Member States.

On the other hand, liability exemptions will be at the core of upcoming debates, as current rules may lack clarity or not be adapted to the reality of certain characteristics of platforms. Professor de Streel suggested that some of the elements that are currently in the 2018 Commission’s recommendations to tackle illegal content online may be integrated in the Directive.

He concluded with a plea to continue to envisage new ways of enforcing the rules and bringing technologies like AI into the picture.

Watch the full video here

Find Alexandre de Streel’s slides here