MEPs highlighted that even though EU rules to stop unjustified geo-blocking have applied for over two years, many problems and restrictions persist due to a shopper’s geographic location.

In a plenary debate, MEPs recognised the positive effects of the Geo-Blocking Regulation on the sale of goods and services within the EU but underlined that the first evaluation shows clearly that the rules do not go far enough. They said that enforcement of the rules is lagging and shopper’s residence or payment location requirements still occur too often at the registration and payment stages.

Several MEPs also raised the limitations of cross-border delivery, which remains a business choice of the seller and thus blocks more than half of the online shopping attempts. MEPs see it as an artificial barrier and market segmentation, which is damaging the EU’s Single Market.

MEPs also underlined that the demand for cross-border access to audiovisual services is growing rapidly, yet this is one of the main areas where geo-blocking continues. While MEPs recognised the copyright and territoriality concerns, they find the current situation unfair with unequal dissemination and access to content. They encouraged the Commission to find solutions to prevent any discrimination on EU level, as the voluntary lifting of barriers is currently not working.