Digital Single Market: Holistic approach needed for workers, consumers & SMEs
Dutch MEP, Dennis de Jong, highlighted some of the problems in the proposal for SMEs and consumers: “For SMEs it is often very difficult to make themselves visible in the results coming out of search engines. The consumer also doesn't get a proper view of all the suppliers that are on the market.”
“The European Commission first wants to study whether the digital market will regulate itself to resolve such problems. But meanwhile, SMEs are losing a lot of potential earnings because they do not appear on Google.”
De Jong also called on the European Commission to resolve problems with online ticket purchasing: “Another example of the problems faced by consumers is with buying tickets online for concerts and events. There are companies selling tickets online for the same events at different prices. There is not enough transparency.”
Spanish MEP, Paloma López Bermejo, reminded the European Commission that “the majority of European citizens are workers as well as consumers. We must view the single market as a whole, including a range of different sectors. If you don't do that, you will end up seeing the destructive effect of digitalisation on labour.”
Recalling the destructive effect of digitalisation on the postal service sector in Europe, López Bermejo warned that elements of the proposal from the European Commission today “continue in the same direction – which is totally unjustifiable”.
“What worries me is that we are going to continue treating digital platforms as though they are offering new services, when in reality they are offering old services in a different format. A driver ought to have same rights whether he or she is working in a taxi or for Uber. The same thing is true for other sectors, whether it is telecommunications or the hotel trade.
“It's important that the digital services operate in exactly the same regulatory framework as traditional industry, with the same obligations. This is the proposal we want to see from the European Commission,” López Bermejo concluded.
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