The digital single market strategy for Europe discussed during MEUSAC Core Group

Minister Helena Dalli said that the strategy was of interest to all citizens as consumers due its economic and social impact.

The ministry for consumer affairs was looking at the Digital Market Strategy for Europe from the perspective of both consumer rights and data protection, Minister Helena Dalli said.

Dalli said that the strategy was of interest to all citizens as consumers due its economic and social impact.

The minister was speaking during a MEUSAC Core Group meeting discussing the Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe.

In reaction to suggestions from the members for more awareness on new digital sector developments, Dalli said that the government was working to see how best they can help shop owners enhance the shopping experience for shoppers in view of stiff competition from online sales.

Malta Communications Authority representative Ivan Bugeja explained that the internet speed had tripled in a matter of a few years and this had helped innovative projects be created online, leading to a greater consumer demand.

He said it was useless creating more services if regulations were not updated.

He said an EC survey found that European consumers were concerned over online payments and the security of their personal data mostly. In the same survey, Malta rates among the top in the e-commerce sector (50%) when the EU average is 18%.

The European Commission is proposing this strategy in the contest of a global economy which is rapidly becoming digital, with the information and communications technology sector no longer being a specific sector, but the foundation of all modern innovative economic systems. The internet and digital technologies are transforming lives and work practices each day that goes by.

The strategy aims to better the free movement of goods, persons and services in Europe. As a result, consumers and businesses can access services online without any problems and in a fair manner while also having a high level of protection, irrespective of the nationality.

The strategy will be built on three pillars:

• better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across Europe;

• the creation of the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish;

• maximising the growth potential of the European Digital Economy.

Executive Director for the Programme and Training of the EU Council Presidency 2017, Victor Camilleri, updated members present on the preparations of Malta’s Presidency.

He said that in the run-up to the Presidency, a number of themes are being identified which can serve as a base for a study that may be conducted by the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions on the Single Market for small businesses, social inclusion, equality, competition, and an education for all.