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Shaping Europe’s digital future

Online platforms and e-commerce

The EU wants to ensure businesses and citizens can use online platforms and e-commerce services no matter where they are in the EU.

    Person holds a tablet and icons of online platforms, such as shopping carts and communication services, float above it

© image by ipopba - Getty Images/iStock

If you have used a search engine to find information, shopped on an online marketplace, or communicated using social media, you have used an online platform. 

Online platforms are a key part of the online world. Over 1 million EU businesses sell goods or digital services via online platforms. And, as European citizens, we use them on a daily basis. 

The EU is introducing rules to ensure that these websites foster an environment where EU business can thrive. The rules will also ensure users are treated fairly, and can use online platforms without fear of manipulative algorithms or illegal goods and content.   

The EU’s approach can be defined by 3 areas of action:   

  1. breaking down online barriers, allowing full access to goods and services across the EU; 
  2. ending unjustified cross-border barriers; 
  3. making it easier and safer to shop online no matter where you are in the EU. 

To achieve this, the Commission has proposed the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These acts seek to ensure European citizens can be confident in their safety online and businesses can thrive in the digital world. It is also ensuring e-commerce rules stay up to date in the Digital Decade. 

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The Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act aim to create a safer digital space where the fundamental rights of users are protected and to establish a level playing field for businesses.