EuroCommerce, which represents the retail and wholesale sector in Europe, has called on European Union institutions to ensure that the new Digital Services Act (DSA) creates a safe and trustworthy digital environment for consumers.
The DSA's aim is to establish a single set of 'new rules' across the bloc to ensure a safer and more open digital environment, as well as establish a platform to foster innovation and competitiveness.
Striking The Right Balance
As EuroCommerce puts it, the Act needs to strike the right balance, enduring products sold online are compliant, meet safety guidelines, and do not lead to increased red tape for businesses.
“The European retail and wholesale sector is in the middle of a digital transformation which is fundamentally changing retail and wholesale business models, a trend significantly accelerated by the COVID19 pandemic," said EuroCommerce director-general Christian Verschueren.
"An increasing number are, or plan to become, platforms themselves, increasing competition between the different online business models. While policy makers are still talking about online and offline sales, the most successful businesses are seamlessly integrating the online and offline environment into omnichannel, matching consumers expectations and preferences.”
Level Playing Field
The group has said that one of the main challenges facing the sector is the lack of a level playing field in terms of dealing with third country traders, with a wide array of non-compliant products on the marketplace, which EU retailers and wholesalers face challenges in competing with.
'To remain competitive in a challenging environment, retailers and wholesalers need a framework that gives them legal certainty and incentives to grow and invest in robust omnichannel strategies', it said.
EuroCommerce, which recently announced the appointment of Juan Manuel Morales as its new president, has issued a position paper on the DSA, outlining its recommendations in areas such as liability, transparency, enforcement and codes of conduct, among other areas. You can find it here.