The European Parliament wants to protect consumers in the digital realm: the end of roaming charges and WIFI4EU are examples of its most recent successes. But challenges such as expensive long-distance calling, ePrivacy and online content portability lie ahead.
The European Parliament has enjoyed recent success regarding the protection of consumers, especially in the digital realm. The end of roaming and the WIFI4EU initiative are major steps toward a functioning Digital Single Market. Since June 2017, roaming charges have been abolished in the EU. Now, MEPs want to make it more affordable for citizens to call around the EU from their home country. The first goal of the Telecom Reform is to improve access to networks across the EU, including making 5G connections available to all citizens and businesses. Everyone today is aware of the need for these very high capacity networks. So connectivity for that reason, it is one of the main objectives of this new regulation. Hey, are you at the apartment now? - Yes, I am. - Good. Can I come now? - Yeah. - OK. See you in a minute. When using any form of electronic communication such as email, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger, Big Brother might be watching you for commercial purposes. The Parliament sets high standards of privacy, confidentiality and security. The ePrivacy Regulation does not ban all forms of advertising. It only addresses the issues of surveillance-driven advertising and wants consumers to be given a choice about whether or not they want to be tracked for commercial purposes. In a digital world, it's hard to know if a trader will actually provide the service you paid for. Therefore, the European Parliament has approved the first-ever EU-wide laws to protect shoppers faced with faulty digital content or services. If a problem cannot be fixed, the price must be reduced or the contract ended and the consumer refunded. This is the basic idea behind the directive being discussed at the Parliament. If there is a problem with a download, then most certainly the consumers have their rights. Another issue is the Online Content Portability. Users can now enjoy their online movie, TV, sports or music subscriptions, when travelling abroad in the EU. But MEPs also stress the importance of territorial licenses. Copyright law reform is high on the European Parliament's agenda. The principle of upholding copyright law is sanctified and underlined by this text, but we introduce a new freedom which is important: that of temporarily benefiting from the services available in the country of origin. - Come and look, I found some concert tickets! - Really? Show me. - Where is it? - It's in Barcelona. - Should we go? - Yeah! Consumers must not be discriminated against on the basis of their nationality or where they live. The European Parliament wants consumers to have equal access to goods, hotel bookings, car rentals or concert tickets across borders. And buy! We're going to a concert! Today we can say that we are going for success. No more refusal to sell goods or services online because of the place of residence or nationality of the client. The EU can deliver concrete results for the citizens all over Europe, bringing positive changes in our daily lives. From cross-border parcel delivery to on-line sales of goods, there are a number of issues related to the implementation of a functioning Digital Single Market, but the European Parliament keeps fighting the good fight to make it a reality.