Byte - EU review of the E-commerce Directive (May 2007)

Related Galexia services and solutions


The European Union has announced that the EU Directive on electronic commerce 2000/31/EC[1] (the Directive) is to be reviewed this year.

The Directive was adopted in June 2000 in order to create a legal framework for electronic commerce in Europe and improving legal certainty in order to increase confidence in e-commerce.[2] Member States of the EU were required to enforce the Directive and harmonise certain aspects of their e-commerce laws before 17 January 2002.

The European Commission must re-examine the Directive every two years, including consideration of any amendments required by legal, technical or economic developments in the area of information society services. The Commission is due to review the Directive this year and has asked three universities to conduct a study on the implementation of the Directive and determine whether the rules have been consistently applied throughout the Member States.[3]

In the first report, which was submitted in 2003, the Commission expressed a general satisfaction with the transposition of the Directive and no revision was proposed.[4] However, at the present time the Directive has been in force for several years and divergences in national jurisprudence have been discovered. Thus the report is likely to propose a revision of the rules.

Some market operators have raised opposition to any revision of the Directive.[5] Documents/Information Society i2010/RD258 - CON E-commerce review.pdf Members of the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association and the European Internet Service Providers Association believe the Directive has been a success and therefore any attempt to revise the Directive should be avoided. The country of origin principle is deemed to have played a key role in the success and there is particular support for leaving the country of origin principle unchanged.[6]

The Commission is expected to report in June 2008.

[ Galexia Dots ]

[1] Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000, 8 June 2000,

[2] Europa, Activities of the European Union, Summaries of Legislation - Legal Aspects of Electronic Commerce (‘Directive on Electronic Commerce’), <>.

[3] Reuters, EU Studying E-commerce Law Due to Suspected Loopholes, 20 March 2007, <>.

[4] Commission of the European Communities, First Report on the Application of Directive 2000/31/EC (Directive on Electronic Commerce), COM(2003) 702 final, 21 November 2003, <>.

[5] The European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association, ETNO Reflection Document on Review of the E-Commerce Directive, February 2007, <>.

[6] The European Internet Service providers Association, EuroISPA Response to the European Commission’s Consultation on: A Communication on Content Online, 13 October 2006, <>.