European Single Market Opportunity

Yesterday I was in Brussels representing Ireland at the Google organised Single Market Opportunity conference. The conference consisted of European Commission officials, European parliamentarians and internet businesses with the purpose of discussing how the Internet can create jobs and be play a key role in getting Europe back on it’s feet.

The Keynote speaker was the European Commission’s Vice President – Antonio Tajani, who stated that the “goal is to double the amount of commerce online by 2015”.


(Yes that’s me at 2.20)

“The Internet Economy contributes 10 – 20% of GBP” According to Matt Brittin (VP of Sales and Operations in Google). Just think how fast that will increase in the coming three years!!

On the agenda were taxation issues about cross boarder selling within the EU and the difficulties that arise based on outdated systems for dealing with VAT on exports. Another topic raised was delivery and I was really surprised / unimpressed with some of the businesses that we purposely turning away sales and profit because they we’re willing to get their business systems in place to export.

One of the major area’s of concerns I raised is the new European Distant Selling legislation rewrites, which are due to come into effect in the coming weeks. It’s one of those legislation moves that has been written without real input from those at the coal face and while trying to encourage small business is it’s goal, it has the adverse effect in some areas.

At the event a new initiative by the Lisbon Council was announced called the S1ngle Market Entrepreneurs aimed at supporting digital entrepreneurs, which is a very worthwhile project as it’s widely agreed new markets are going to be the next big employers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *