On 5 February 2014, the European Parliament adopted its report on an integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-Commerce in the EU. In its report, drafted by Member of Parliament Arias Echeverria, the European Parliament points out that efficient and reliable delivery services are a critical pillar of a real and effective Digital Single Market. The report emphasizes that small businesses are confronted with higher costs, greater complexity, and a lack of transparency when it comes to cross-border delivery. This is reflected in the opinions of consumers and businesses: 57 % of retailers view cross-border delivery as an obstacle, and unreliable shipping (including product returns) and high delivery costs are the top two concerns of consumers when shopping online. The report calls on the European Commission to take appropriate steps to address these issues.
This strong political call for action follows on from a plan presented by the Commission in December 2013 for the development of a more efficient European parcel delivery market. The plan sets out a number of steps to be taken during the succeeding 18 months, including: increased transparency and information; improved availability, quality and affordability of delivery solutions; and enhanced complaint handling and redress mechanisms for consumers.
eBay very much welcomes the efforts of the European Parliament and European Commission to encourage the development of fast, affordable, reliable, accessible, and transparent parcel delivery solutions (see eBay's response to a related Commission consultation). Stefan Krawczyk, eBay's Associate General Counsel & Head Government Relations EMEA, commented: "eBay has consistently campaigned for creating the correct framework conditions for technology-enabled small businesses and consumers. Mr. Arias Echeverria's excellent report and the Commission's action plan support consumers and small businesses and will act as important reference points for the EU's future work on removing barriers from e-commerce."