EU waking up to sounds of e-contracting conclusion

The European Commission has asked the Council for permission to speak on the EU’s behalf in UN negotiations on electronic contracting.

In 2001, Working Group IV (Electronic Commerce) of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law was given the task of drafting a draft convention on the electronic conclusion of contracts between businesses (B2B). Work on the document was completed in October 2004. 

The convention is likely to be adopted at the Working Group’s next meeting, in Vienna on 4 – 15 July 2005.  It would then either be passed on to the UN’s General Assembly, which could adopt it as a Convention in its 2005 session, or to a diplomatic conference. 

On 16 June 2005, Single Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: “Giving Europe a strong voice in drawing up this Convention will contribute to making sure e-contracts can be drawn up with a minimum of fuss.” 

The aim, according to the Commission, is “to get the maximum benefit from the updated framework for international contracting. The aim is also to ensure compatibility between the draft Convention and Directive 2000/31/EC on electronic commerce”.

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