Croatian MEP Borzan joins calls for ‘real equality’ in EU-wide online shopping

NEWS 02.03.2021 19:53
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The European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection passed a decision demanding improvements to online shopping practices, underlining the "poor application of laws" as one of the most important problems, as well as the "poorer offer of audiovisual content," Croatian MEP Biljana Borzan said in a press release on Tuesday.

Borzan said that many Croatian citizens had complained to her that they did not feel equal in online shopping because “as soon as a website detects that they are from Croatia, they are shown a different offer, higher prices, or are denied access altogether.”

Borzan said such practice was banned in December 2018 and that recently the European Commission published an analysis showing that in 18 months, discrimination had been halved, “although citizens are still reporting gross violations to me.”

She said the relevant directive did not regulate copyrighted content and that although research showed that the number of audiovisual content users had doubled, there were “very big differences between countries,” with buyers in Germany, for example, having access to over 43 percent of films available online in the EU, yet only 1.3 percent in Greece.

The analysis also shows that out of 1,000 e-books, only five are available to buy in Croatia, Borzan said, adding that this must be regulated to benefit both consumers and authors.

The pandemic has significantly increased online shopping in Croatia and in one year the number of buyers has jumped more than 20 percent, she said, adding that clothing, films, TV shows and food deliveries accounted for the majority of online purchases.

“Our people mostly complain to me about the poor application of laws or the impossibility of delivery, which is why I supported the demand that the Commission enable real equality on the Internet,” she said.

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