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[summa@eco.de: Information Week]

Sagt bescheid, wenn ich die Forwards einstellen soll.

----- Forwarded message from "Harald A. Summa" <summa@eco.de> -----

Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 09:44:49 +0100
To: skiba@koeln.eco.de
From: "Harald A. Summa" <summa@eco.de>
Subject: Information Week
Cc: abo@eco.de

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, 
hier ein weiterer wichtiger Baustein für Ihre ECommerce-Aktivitäten. 
Wir vom eco haben das Zustandekommen des "frameworks" mit einigem 
Aufwand in Brüssel unterstützt und freuen uns, dieses 
industriefreundliche Ergebnis erreicht zu haben.

  Electronic commerce: Commission proposes legal framework
   DN: IP/98/999     Date: 1998-11-18
   TXT: [1]FR [2]EN
   PDF: [3]FR [4]EN
   Word Processed: [5]FR [6]EN
   Brussels, 18 November 1998
   Electronic commerce: Commission proposes legal framework
   A proposal for a Directive to establish a coherent legal framework for
   the development of electronic commerce within the Single Market has
   been put forward by the European Commission. The proposed Directive
   would ensure that information society services benefit from the Single
   Market principles of free movement of services and freedom of
   establishment and could provide their services throughout the European
   Union (EU) if they comply with the law in their country of origin.
   Such services are defined as those provided normally against
   remuneration, at a distance, by electronic means and in response to
   the individual request of a customer. The proposed Directive would
   establish specific harmonised rules only in those areas strictly
   necessary to ensure that businesses and citizens could supply and
   receive information society services throughout the EU, irrespective
   of frontiers. These areas include definition of where operators are
   established, electronic contracts, liability of intermediaries,
   dispute settlement and role of national authorities. In other areas
   the Directive would build on existing EU instruments which provide for
   harmonisation or on mutual recognition of national laws. The Directive
   would apply only to service providers established within the EU and
   not those established outside.
   "The Single Market's legal framework, combined with the single
   currency, provide the European Union with a unique opportunity to
   facilitate the development of electronic commerce", commented Single
   Market Commissioner Mario Monti. "Electronic commerce adds a new
   dimension to the Single Market for consumers in terms of easier access
   to goods and services of better quality and at lower prices.
   Electronic commerce will promote trade, stimulate innovation and
   competitiveness and create sustainable jobs. This proposal should
   ensure that the Union reaps the full benefits of electronic commerce
   by boosting consumer confidence and giving operators legal certainty,
   without excessive red tape."
   The global electronic commerce market is growing extremely fast and
   could be worth ECU 200 billion by the year 2000. Worldwide, 86 million
   people were connected to the Internet by the end of 1996 and by 2000,
   this is expected to reach 250 million individuals. Within the EU, it
   is estimated that more than 400,000 jobs related to the information
   society were created between 1995 and 1997 and that one in four news
   jobs is derived from these activities.
   The proposal for a Directive, which was foreseen in the Commission's
   April 1997 electronic commerce Communication (see IP/97/313), covers
   all information society services, both business to business and
   business to consumer services, including services provided free of
   charge to the recipient e.g. funded by advertising or sponsorship
   revenue and services allowing for on-line electronic transactions such
   as interactive teleshopping of goods and services and on-line shopping
   malls. Examples of sectors and activities covered include on-line
   newspapers, on-line data-bases, on-line financial services, on-line
   professional services (such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, estate
   agents), on-line entertainment services such as video on demand,
   on-line direct marketing and advertising and services providing access
   to the World Wide Web.
   The proposal would define the place of establishment as the place
   where an operator actually pursues an economic activity through a
   fixed establishment, irrespective of where websites or servers are
   situated or where the operator may have a mail box. This definition is
   in line with the principles established by the EU Treaty (Article 52)
   and the case law of the European Court of Justice. Such a definition
   would remove current legal uncertainty and ensure that operators could
   not evade supervision, as they would be subject to supervision in the
   Member State where they were established. The proposal would prohibit
   Member States from imposing special authorisation schemes for
   information society services which are not applied to the same
   services provided by other means. It would also require Member States
   to oblige information society service providers to make available to
   customers and competent authorities in an easily accessible and
   permanent form basic information concerning their activities (name,
   address, e-mail address, trade register number, professional
   authorisation and membership of professional bodies where applicable,
   VAT number).
   On-line contracts
   For electronic commerce to develop its full potential, it must be
   possible for contracts to be concluded on-line unrestricted by
   inappropriate rules (such as a requirement that contracts be drawn up
   on paper). The proposal would therefore oblige Member States to adjust
   their national legislation to remove any prohibitions or restrictions
   on the use of electronic media for concluding contracts. In addition,
   the proposal would ensure legal security by clarifying in certain
   cases the moment of conclusion of the contract, whilst fully
   respecting contractual freedom. These provisions would complement the
   proposal for a Directive on electronic signatures (see IP/98/423).
   Liability of intermediaries
   To facilitate electronic commerce, it is necessary to clarify the
   responsibility of on-line service providers for transmitting and
   storing information from third party (i.e. when service providers act
   as "intermediaries").
   To eliminate existing legal uncertainties and to avoid divergent
   approaches at Member State level, the proposal would establish an
   exemption from liability for intermediaries where they play a passive
   role as a "mere conduit" of information from third parties and limit
   service providers' liability for other "intermediary" activities such
   as the storage of information. The proposal strikes a careful balance
   between the different interests involved in order to stimulate
   co-operation between different parties and so reduce the risk of
   illegal activity on-line.
   Commercial communications
   Commercial communications such as advertising and direct marketing,
   which are an essential part of most electronic commerce services,
   would be subject to clearly defined rules under the proposed
   Directive. The proposal defines what constitutes a commercial
   communication and makes it subject to certain transparency
   requirements to ensure consumer confidence and fair trading. In order
   to allow consumers to react more readily to harmful intrusion, the
   proposal requires that commercial communications by e-mail are clearly
   identifiable. In addition, for regulated professions (such as lawyers
   or accountants), the proposal lays down the general principle that the
   on-line provision of services is permitted and that national rules on
   advertising shall not prevent professions from operating Web-sites.
   However, these would have to respect certain rules of professional
   ethics which should be reflected in codes of conduct to be drawn up by
   professional associations.
   Rather than inventing new rules, the proposal would seek to ensure
   that existing EU and national legislation were effectively enforced.
   The development of a genuine Single Market based on mutual confidence
   between Member States - is stimulated by strengthening enforcement
   mechanisms. The proposal would seek to do so by encouraging the
   development of codes of conduct at EU level, by stimulating
   administrative co-operation between Member States and by facilitating
   the setting up of effective, alternative cross-border dispute
   settlement systems. The proposal would also require Member States to
   provide for fast, efficient legal redress appropriate to the on-line
   environment and to ensure that sanctions for violations of the rules
   established under the Directive were effective, proportionate and
   Mutual recognition/derogations
   The proposed Directive would clarify that the Single Market principle
   of mutual recognition of national laws and the principle of control in
   the country of origin must be applied to information society services
   so that such services provided from another Member State are not
   restricted for reasons falling within the scope of the proposal which
   would not cover taxation, personal data (the free movement of which is
   covered by Directive 95/46 see IP/98/925), the activities of notaries,
   representation and defence of clients before a court, gambling
   activities. Furthermore, the proposed Directive would not interfere
   with the application of the Brussels Convention on jurisdiction,
   recognition and enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial
   matters and the Rome Convention on the law applicable to contractual
   The proposed Directive would also allow Member States on a case by
   case basis to impose restrictions on information society services
   supplied from another Member State if necessary to protect the public
   interest on grounds of protection of minors, the fight against hatred
   on grounds of race, sex, religion or nationality, public health or
   security and consumer protection. However, such restrictions would
   have to be proportionate to their stated objective. Moreover, such
   restrictions could only be imposed (except in cases of urgency) after:
     *  the Member State where the service provider was established had
   been asked to take adequate measures and failed to do so and
     *  the intention to impose restrictions had been notified in advance
   to the Commission and to the Member State where the service provider
   was established.
   In cases of urgency, the reasons for the restrictions (and the
   urgency) would have to be notified in the shortest possible time to
   the Commission and to the Member State of the service provider. Where
   the Commission considered proposed or actual restrictions were not
   justified, Member States would be required to refrain from imposing
   them or urgently put an end to them.
   The proposal for a Directive on a legal framework for electronic
   commerce will be forwarded to the European Parliament and the EU's
   Council of Ministers for adoption under the co-decision procedure.


   1. file://localhost/rapid/cgi/rapcgi.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/98/999|0|RAPID≶=FR
   2. file://localhost/rapid/cgi/rapcgi.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/98/999|0|RAPID≶=EN
   3. file://localhost/rapid/cgi/rapcgi.ksh?p_action.getfile=gf&doc=IP/98/999|0|RAPID≶=FR&type=PDF
   4. file://localhost/rapid/cgi/rapcgi.ksh?p_action.getfile=gf&doc=IP/98/999|0|RAPID≶=EN&type=PDF
   5. file://localhost/rapid/cgi/rapcgi.ksh?p_action.getfile=gf&doc=IP/98/999|0|RAPID≶=FR&type=DOC
   6. file://localhost/rapid/cgi/rapcgi.ksh?p_action.getfile=gf&doc=IP/98/999|0|RAPID≶=EN&type=DOC

Mit freundlichem Gruß 

Harald A. Summa 

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                 eco - Electronic Commerce Forum e. V.
                          c/o Harald A. Summa
                               Grasweg 2
                              D-50769 Köln
                       Fon: +49 (0) 221 9702 407
                       Fax: +49 (0) 221 9702 408
                          E-Mail: info@eco.de
                             pgp on request


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----- End forwarded message -----

Thomas Roessler · 74a353cc0b19 · dg1ktr · http://home.pages.de/~roessler/
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