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BUSINESSEUROPE, EUROCHAMBRES and EUROCOMMERCE have been consistently stressing the importance of the services sector to the EU economy, businesses and consumers alike. Economic activity in Europe remains disproportionately hit by Covid-19, and the service sector will be crucial to accelerating Europe’s recovery.
The overall post-2019 contribution to the EU economy from services is estimated at €389bn or 2.28% of EU GDP, and a further €284bn of gains would be possible under full implementation of the Services Directive*. The growing trend for EU industry to offer substantial services alongside their products and use services as input also provides a major opportunity to both service providers and industry: services generate 27% of the value added in EU manufacturing compared to 20% in the US; yet our productivity in services is only around half that of the US level**. It is therefore clear that significant growth potential remains untapped as long as there is no free movement of services in the EU.
The European Commission’s Long-term Action Plan for Implementation and Enforcement of Single Market Rules partly acknowledged the current situation with the measures on services it foresees. However, a difficult political debate caused a set-back to the agenda on services as the Commission was forced to withdraw the remainder of the 2017 Services Package.Read more
EuroCommerce together with ECommerce Europe sent a joint letter to the European Banking Authority and the European Commission expressing their concern at the continued levels of transaction failure rates following the implementation of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) in January.
The letter highlighted some of the problems merchants were still experiencing, together with the impact on consumers. It suggested that information gathering at National level appeared to be predominantly focused on measuring compliance of the Regulation rather than if SCA is working as intended.
It also made references to whether the new fees introduced by the major card schemes are fully justifiable - especially in the context of expected reductions in fraud.Read more
Joint industry letter addressed to:
Ms. Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Mr. Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice
We, the undersigned associations, represent a variety of sectors of the transatlantic business community. We welcome and appreciate your ongoing efforts to agree on a new, strengthened EU-U.S. framework for the transfer of personal information across the Atlantic.
We were encouraged by the recent EU-U.S. Summit commitment to “work together to ensure safe, secure, and trusted cross-border data flows that protect consumers and enhance privacy protections, while enabling Transatlantic commerce” and to “strengthen legal certainty in Transatlantic flows of personal data.” At the same time, many were hopeful for further announcements on the progress and timeline for a new data transfer agreement.
This week marks the anniversary of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s judgement which, among other things, invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. One year on, thousands of EU and U.S. companies continue to be impacted by the resulting legal uncertainty for transatlantic data transfers, restrictive interpretations of the ruling risk triggering additional compliance and operational challenges. They also restrict the opportunities for EU businesses to grow and innovate internationally, rely on the technology and services of their choosing, and to perform routine commercial data transfers.
We urge the U.S. and the EU to swiftly ensure an agreement for secure transatlantic data flows that in turn will strengthen trade, investment, technological cooperation, and reinvigorate the transatlantic partnership. It is the ideal time to forge a new sustainable data transfer framework and we hope to hear from the U.S. government and European Commission on the completion of an agreement soon.Read more
EuroCommerce has issued a joint letter (co-signed by Independent Retail Europe) which was sent to Commissioner Sefcovics on dealing with regulatory burdens in the retail and wholesale sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.