eBay’s Government Relations team hosted a seller fly-in in Brussels last week for six sellers from throughout the EU to meet with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the European Commission. Participating sellers came from Romania, Bulgaria, France, Spain, Germany and the UK. eBay’s VP of Global Government & Brand Relations, Cathy Foster, and Ken Ebanks, VP & Deputy General Counsel in Europe, also attended.
eBay’s GR representatives and sellers participated in a roundtable discussion focused on digital trade opportunities and challenges for small businesses. The roundtable was hosted by MEP Marietje Schaake. MEP Schaake has been a strong voice on international trade and digital policy in the European Parliament. During the roundtable, sellers highlighted how eBay—as a third-party marketplace enabling hundreds of thousands of European SMEs to sell online—has always been a strong supporter of the EU Digital Single Market and believes in the concept of a borderless online trading area. They also raised concerns about recent developments and discussions surrounding trade and shared their perspectives on why open trade is good for small businesses.
Following the roundtable discussion, sellers met with MEPs from their respective home countries to share their small business stories. Other key themes included complexities regarding new rules on VAT for e-commerce and platform bans.
To cap off the fly in, eBay GR hosted a policy conference entitled, “The Digital Single Market—What’s Next?” for EU policy makers, industry representatives, think tanks and SMEs to exchange views on the achievements of the Digital Single Market Strategy and the importance of global trade. Cathy Foster gave opening remarks and over 110 people attended.
Throughout the fly in, eBay GR was also able to highlight a recent Policy Lab report, Towards the Next Paradigm: A Global, Inclusive & People-Focused Economic Model, which contains robust data demonstrating the real-world behavior of platform-enabled enterprises across the EU. The report also puts forward recommendations for policy action at the EU level, proposes an agenda for the upcoming mandate of the European Commission, and introduces an innovative modelling tool to help guide EU policy prioritization.