The social phenomenon “Electronic Commerce” calls for regulation of several specific issue areas: i.e. technical issues, market access, legal sphere, security, social and cultural issues. This article examines whether the existing regulatory activities in the field of Electronic Commerce on the international level are sufficient to cope with these challenges for regulation, or whether a new institutionalised international framework - an international regime - is needed. Focusing on the role and the current activities of States, the European Union, international organisations and non-governmental organisations, the paper argues that Electronic Commerce can be seen as a cross-sectional issue (“Querschnittsmaterie”). A variety of existing specialised informal and formal rules and organisations provide guidance for and co-ordination of commercial electronic transactions. Thus, there is no need for a homogeneous, coherent and encompassing international regime dedicated to the administration and co-ordination of Electronic Commerce.
© 2002 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart