Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue


Subject: Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue
From: Barbara Schleihagen (Eblida@nblc.nl)
Date: ma 03 touko  1999 - 14:57:13 EEST


"The globalisation and liberalisation of markets, as well as the
dissemination of new technologies have revolutionised the way markets serve
consumers. Business was the first to understand this. It has organised
itself accordingly, e.g. in the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue. The 630
million American and European consumers must also make their voices heard."
Thus, Commissioner Emma Bonino, addressing participants in the second
meeting of Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) which came to a
conclusion a week ago in Brussels.

One of the highly important issues was electronic commerce. Bonino noted
that it has tremendous prospects for development but cannot be fully
exploited without consumer confidence, based on four conditions:

1. consumers using electronic commerce should enjoy the same protection as
through traditional channels

2. Consumers' interests must be part of all initiatives to promote the
development of electronic commerce (At European level, the Treaty of
Amsterdam will ensure this)

3. electronic commerce must take place within an appropriate legislative
framework

4. Consumers need to know what to expect, which means that one has to come
to a common understanding on the key elements of consumer protection.

The conclusions and recommendations adopted by American and European
consumer representatives include among others:

The TACD recommends that the European Union and the United States:

1. support the establishments of minimum standards in electronic commerce,
including the simplification of contracts, limits of consumer liability,
non-enforceability of unreasonable contract provisions, recourse at least
to the laws and courts of the consumer's home country

2. ensure that children can take full advantage of the benefits of the new
digital media in a safe environment.

Best wishes,
Barbara Schleihagen

**********************************************************************
EBLIDA
Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Hogan, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08
email: eblida@nblc.nl
http://www.eblida.org/

**********************************************************************
EBLIDA
Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Hogan, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08
email: eblida@nblc.nl
http://www.eblida.org/



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