Module 2 – Section 2

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Module 2
Module 3
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Module 6

Module 2 – Section 2

In general, the EU is making progress, but not sufficiently: other countries and other regions in the world are moving forward more rapidly. Andrus Ansip
To learn more, we invite you to read a document published in 2017 by Eurostat: “Digital economy & society in the  EU”. The document is divided into 4 chapters; it presents clear and comprehensible statistics on various topics related to ICT and accompanies them with texts, visual data displays and animations; it provides answers to some common questions about the use of the Internet, digital skills and online sales.


  • Chapter 1 The chapter focuses on how and why people and companies are present in the network; on digital skills and ICT training. It also includes information on mobile Internet access, internet activities, use of social media and use of ICT specialists.
  • Chapter 2 The chapter examines in detail the e-commerce from two points of view: on one hand that of people who order goods and services online, and on the other hand that of companies that sell online.
  • Chapter 3 The chapter is dedicated to Internet security and cloud services; it provides information on aspects related to privacy and protection of personal information online; on the ICT security policies of companies; and on the private and corporate use of cloud services.
  • Chapter 4 This chapter provides some basic information on the content and objectives of the EU’s Digital Single Market policy, one of the ten political priorities of the European Commission which we also discuss on this page.

E-commerce framework in Europe

Digital single market

Purchasing goods and services online has become a common practice among many people around the world. Some choose to make online purchases for convenience, others because of the competitive price offered by some e-commerce platforms. Digital buyers can also be influenced by a range of digital resources when shopping, such as brand emails and product reviews. Regardless of the reasons for purchase, the number of digital buyers is on the rise.

The traditional credit card is the preferred payment method amongst online shoppers worldwide with a 42% usage rate in 2017. PayPal is the second payment method, up to 39 % (2017) of online shoppers affirmed using this method. The range of devices with Internet connections available to online shoppers allows products to be purchased almost anywhere from any device. Source: www.statista.com/statistics/508988/preferred-payment-methods-of-online-shoppers-worldwide/

Even though European Commission has announced the aim to create a true digital single market in May, 2015 , where the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured — and where citizens and businesses can seamlessly and fairly access online goods and services: whatever their nationality is and wherever they live, 65% of European internet users shop online, but only 16% of SMEs sell online – and less than half of those sell online across borders 7.5%.


The digital single market strategy is made of three policy areas or pillars:


  1. better access for consumers and business to online goods helping to make the EU’s digital world a seamless and balanced marketplace to buy and sell;
  2. the right environment for digital networks and services designing rules which match the pace of technology and support infrastructure development;
  3. economy and society ensuring that economy, industry and employment in Europe take full advantage of what digitization offers.


Since May 2015, the European Commission has delivered 35 legislative proposals and policy initiatives as announced in its Digital Single Market strategy. The focus is now on obtaining political agreement with the European Parliament and the Council on all proposals, above all the updated EU telecommunication rules which will boost investments in high-speed and quality networks, which are critical for the full deployment of the digital economy and society.

The Digital Single Market strategy has also delivered key legislative proposals such as boosting e-commerce, modernising copyright, audiovisual and ePrivacy rules, harmonising digital rights, guaranteeing affordable parcel delivery and harmonising VAT rules.


In order to ensure a fair, open and secure digital environment, the Commission has identified three main areas where further EU action is needed:

  • to develop the European Data Economy to its full potential;
  • to protect European assets by tackling cybersecurity challenges;
  • to promote the online platforms as responsible players of a fair Internet ecosystem.


On May 10, 2017, the Commission published the mid-term review of the Digital Single Market Strategy. It shows the progress made in implementing the Strategy since 2015 and where further actions are needed.

DESI – The Digital Economy and Society Index

The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness.

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands have the most advanced digital economies in the EU followed by Luxembourg, Ireland, the UK, Belgium and Estonia. Romania, Greece and Italy have the lowest scores on the DESI.

In 2017, all Member States improved in the DESI. Ireland and Spain progressed the most (close to 5 points as opposed to an EU average of 3.2). On the other hand, there was low increase in Denmark and Portugal (below 2 points).

DESI 2018 – Key Finding:

1. Connectivity

The Connectivity dimension measures the deployment of broadband infrastructure and its quality. Access to fast and ultrafast broadband-enabled services is a necessary condition for competitiveness.


2. Human Capital/Digital skills

The Human Capital dimension measures the skills needed to take advantage of the possibilities offered by digital.


3. Use of Internet Services by citizens

The Use of Internet Services dimension accounts for a variety of online activities, such as the consumption of online content (videos, music, games, etc.) video calls as well as online shopping and banking.


4. Integration of Digital Technology by businesses

The Integration of Digital Technology dimension measures the digitisation of businesses and e-commerce. By adopting digital technologies, businesses can enhance efficiency, reduce costs and better engage customers and business partners. Furthermore, the Internet as a sales outlet offers access to wider markets and potential for growth.


5. Digital Public Services

The Digital Public Services dimension measures the digitisation of public services, focusing on eGovernment and eHealth. Modernisation and digitisation of public services can lead to efficiency gains for the public administration, citizens and businesses alike.


6. Reasearch and Development ICT

The Reasearch and Development ICT presents analysis on the trends of ICT Sector and R&D provided by the European Commission as well as external studies conducted at the request of the European Commission.


Source: EU: //ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/desi

Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands achieved the highest score in DESI 2018 and are among the world leaders in digitization. Luxembourg, Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium and Estonia follow after them. Ireland, Cyprus and Spain have made the biggest progress in the last four years. In general, the European Union is becoming more digital, but progress is not yet sufficient to enable Europe to reach global leaders and reduce differences between Member States. To learn more, follow the links that we have provided in the previous text.
The EU has a significant impact on the online retail sector in its Member States. Ecommerce Europe provides the e-commerce industry with a strong and clear voice in the European policy field.

L'Unione europea ha un impatto rilevante sul settore della vendita al dettaglio online nei Paesi membri. Ecommerce Europe supporta dà voce al settore dell'e-commerce nell'ambito delle politiche europee.

E-commerce Europe

Through its 20 national associations, Ecommerce Europe represents more than 25,000 companies that sell products and / or online services to consumers throughout Europe. Founded by the leading national e-commerce associations, Ecommerce Europe is the voice of the e-commerce industry in Europe. Its mission is to stimulate e-commerce and strengthen the e-commerce industry, helping decision makers to define appropriate policies for sustainable future growth.

In order to achieve this, Ecommerce Europe promotes initiatives aimed at developing innovative market solutions and provides a common platform for in-depth discussions and debates on the topic with the aim of connecting online retailers with the main stakeholders. Ecommerce Europe represents, in the European e-commerce scenario, a stimulating engine whose actions are implemented through initiatives such as, for example, the creation of the European Trustmark label: a brand supplied free of charge to more than 10,000 certified online stores throughout Europe.

This project is funded with support from the European Commission. The publication reflects the authors’ exclusive point of view and the Commission can not be held responsible for the use of the information contained therein.
For more information contact: projektai@paneveziodrmc.lt