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The Directive on Electronic Commerce is designed to ensure that information society services can be freely provided throughout the EU. It was adopted 8 June 2000 and must be transposed by 17 January 2002.

Before 17 July 2003, and thereafter every two years, the Commission will submit a report on the application of this Directive. It seeks to contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market by ensuring the free movement of information society services between Member States.

The Directive provides that Member States have to ensure that service providers established on their territory comply with the national requirements applicable to them, which fall within the Directive%%%%s co-ordinated field.

The Directive lays the foundations on which further policy developments in financial services will be based. Together with the Directive concerning the Distance Marketing of Consumer Financial Services (see below) it contributes to the creation of a legal framework for on-line provision of financial services. It does not pre-empt future initiatives in the area of financial services, particularly those harmonising rules of conduct in this field.

The purpose of the Directive on Distance Marketing of Financial Pproducts is to establish a clear regulatory framework within the single market.

It is designed to ensure a high level of protection for consumers of retail financial services (e.g. insurance, banking and investment services) marketed by telephone, postal and electronic means, such as the Internet, building consumer confidence in such services and providing financial service suppliers with a clearly defined legal framework for distance selling throughout the single market.

The proposal will be transmitted to the Council and Parliament for adoption under the codecision procedure.

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