Is Europe on the right track to becoming ready for E-Commerce? How effective is recent regulation?
GRIN Verlag, 2006 M09 16 - 91 pages
Master's Thesis from the year 2004 in the subject Law - Media, Multimedia Law, Copyright, grade: first, distinction (mit Auszeic, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, course: LL.M. Programm, language: English, abstract: This Dissertation aims to assess the effectiveness and suitability of European regulation in respect to E-Commerce. Taking the European ‘Lisbon Strategy’ as set out in 2000 as a starting point, this paper examines whether Europe is on the right track to becoming “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy (...) by 2010”. Hereby, the scope of this paper is limited to E-Commerce only as one essential part of a ‘knowledge-based economy’ and an ‘e-ready’ Europe. After outlining the special nature of E-Commerce, the rationale behind regulation and the historical background of European regulation in this field, this paper concentrates on four issues where the EU has become active in regulating E-Commerce, namely, the essential prerequisite of an existing ‘e-infrastructure’, e-signatures, privacy and consumer protection. The European approach to each of these issues is assessed to reveal its strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, this European way of regulating E-Commerce is then compared with other regulative attempts. Hereby, special attention is paid to the US approach to regulating E-Commerce which is mostly based on self-regulation. Thus, this paper comes to the conclusion that Europe is on the right track to becoming ‘e-ready’ in respect to E-Commerce. Basic regulatory decisions have the potential to lead in the right direction, although they do not always provide the most effective solution. Often European Directives do not reach far enough and are outdated. Thus, they do not address E-Commerce sufficiently, give too much discretion to the Member States and leave prevalent gaps or do not interoperate properly. Therefore, the European regulation on E-Commerce needs some revision and has to take some brave and innovative steps to establish legal certainty, as well as to create consumer trust and confidence. Following this path active participation can be promoted and consequently, a vibrant E-Commerce market created.
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