The Electronic Retailing Association

ERA and EMOTA move forward in Brussels

ERA Europe joined EMOTA in June 2017 to optimise our information sources in Brussels.

by Maurits Bruggink, EMOTA Secretary General

EMOTA is the European e-commerce and Omni Channel Trade association. It is omni-channel because we believe that the consumer of today, and certainly tomorrow, will not limit themself to choosing one channel for their purchases, but will use a mix, according to whatever suits them best.

This omni-channel view is not only relevant in the commercial, but also in a regulatory, sense. EMOTA believes that regulations should not discriminate against any particular channel and that consumer preferences should be decisive for the use of a retail channel, not government regulation. Moreover, most retailers today sell through different channels and it is not in their interest to deal with different regulations for the sale of the same product, depending on which channel is used.

Maurits Bruggink, EMOTA Secretary General and Speaker at the 2017 Venice MCMS


Maurits Bruggink was appointed Secretary General of EMOTA, the European Multi-channel and Online Trade Association in 2015. His main task is to represent the interests of the sector to policymakers at European level and in Member States.

Maurits has been involved in international advocacy, government affairs and trade association management for over 25 years in different positions. Maurits started as a lawyer at the European Union Office of Arthur Andersen & C°, followed by a long spell as Managing Director at Brussels’s based lobby firm Grayling.

Maurits has great experience in managing European and international trade associations. He has been secretary general of several trade associations.

Maurits holds a Master in International Trade Law from the University of Leiden, Holland and is fluent in English, French, German, Dutch and Spanish.

EMOTA Membership

Our omni-channel approach is also reflected in our membership. It includes national trade associations in 20 different countries. Some of these associations are focused on e-commerce, others on direct marketing or have a mixed membership. We have also opened our membership to companies. The largest e-commerce companies in the world, Amazon and Alibaba, have now joined our ranks. Finally, we have supplier members, like postal operators, who have many issues in common with us.

The EMOTA Mission

The main mission of EMOTA is to represent the interest of electronic retail to the European Union. This means that we aim to ensure that new laws are not against our interests but rather promote them. Some of our main challenges are proposed rules that claim to defend the interest of consumers. Ironically, the main European consumer organisation is co-funded by the European Commission itself. The real voice of consumers is best reflected by the increase of sales of online and telesales over the last years.

Current problems

As a result of the current focus on perceived consumer protection by politicians and civil servants, we have to face problems such as regulation that obliges us to sell to consumers even if we do not want to, severe restrictions to the use of cookies and limitations in electronic payments. The regulator also proposed to simplify VAT collection, which is good news. However, we are pessimistic about the speed of its implementation. It will still take many years, if adopted.

The EMOTA Charter

It is known that negative lobbying is not so effective and therefore EMOTA is adopting a charter on how it sees the industry develop favourably in the coming years. The centre of our charter is a consumer who is more and more independent, choosing what, how and where he/she wants to buy. The consumer will have increasing expectations on issues such as: the convenience of purchasing, clear and easy to use websites or TV channels, speed of delivery, ease of payment, hassle free consumer redress and low cost return of goods. We trust that this charter will be a guidance for policy makers in the future.

Location and Centre of Activity

The EMOTA team is based in Brussels, near the European institutions. Every day we interact with policy makers and stakeholders to get our voice heard. We attend and speak at hearings, we are member of several consultative committees, we are members of EU industry groups and coalitions, we produce position papers on each of the relevant topics. As professional and respected lobbyists of our industry, we get insight into the decision making processes, we get access to policy makers and are in a good position to influence the decision making processes.

ERA Europe and EMOTA have joined forces

To have ERA Europe as a member of EMOTA gives us much pride and helps us in our advocacy. By joining forces, we have a more authoritative voice and have a better chance to influence the policy making processes. ERA Europe get “eyes-and-ears” on the ground and gains access to detailed intelligence on EU developments. It will be able to introduce its own views into EMOTA positions and the positions of organisations of which EMOTA is a member. ERA will benefit from advanced lobbying in Brussels through EMOTA and it can count on the support of the EMOTA team to assist and advise on ERA Europe proper lobbying.

EMOTA thanks ERA for its trust in our organisation and is looking forward to a fruitful cooperation.