Members of the European Parliament yesterday unanimously approved the adoption of the new E-commerce Directive, as proposed by the Council and the Commission. Seen as a major step for the development of e-commerce in Europe, member states will have eighteen months to implement the Directive.

The adoption was warmly welcomed by FEDMA (the European Federation for direct and interactive marketing) which believes it will encourage companies, especially smaller-to-medium enterprises, to invest resources in e-commerce without suffering from legal uncertainties.

Enthused FEDMA director general Alastair Tempest: "The final adoption of this Directive is the result of major industry lobbying efforts. [It] is indicative of the high priority accorded by member states to the promotion of E-marketing … and will have far reaching positive implications for the growth of e-commerce in Europe".

Added Tempest: "FEDMA is regularly contacted by companies ready to invest in online media but facing major legal uncertainties in Europe. This quick adoption will constitute a good stimulus for the development of online services in Europe."

FEDMA press release [issued 20.00 GMT, 4-May-00]