Creating a European digital economy and society DispatchesEurope.com

Surfing, chatting, online shopping are among our everyday activities. We use everyday computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, by spending a considerable part of our time online for various reasons. Many of us depend on digital services to stay in contact with family and friends or to search for a hotel, restaurant or even to check our bank accounts. It’s the digital era!

It’s true that digital tools have made our life simply, convenient and smarter! The European Commission took advantage of the new reality by developing the Digital Single Market. A brand-new sector of the European Single Market that that was announced in May 2015 and covers digital marketing, e-commerce and telecommunications. It aims to open up digital opportunities for people and business and enhance Europe’s position as a world leader in the digital economy. The Digital Single Market strategy includes 16 specific initiatives, that can create opportunities for existing companies and startups. These initiatives can also contribute into creating jobs and transform our public services. 

The first achievement of Digital Single Market is the abolishment of mobile roaming charges in the EU. From 15 June 2017, roaming charges in the European Union are no longer apply. “The European Union is about bringing people together and making their lives easier. The end of roaming charges is at the foundation of the EU’s Digital Single Market and it’s another step towards building a united and sustainable European digital society, accessible for all our citizens”, stated the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

The second step is going to be held in May 2018 and it will establish a set of EU rules on data protection and privacy in electronics and communications. As of May 2018, the EU will also be equipped with its first ever common cybersecurity law to help keep network and information systems safe in all member states. 

What about the current digital performance amongst member states?

The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is an index that tracks digital performance and the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness. According to DESI 2017, the most advanced digital economies in the EU are Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands followed by Luxembourg, Belgium, the UK and Ireland. Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy have the lowest scores. DESI index, takes into account five different dimensions: connectivity, digital skills of human capital, use of internet by citizens, integration of digital technology by business and digital public services. Let us not forget the European champions in Digital Public Services in 2016. Estonia, Finland and the Netherlands are leading, while Romania, Hungary and Croatia are lagging behind.

The data-driven economy will include a number of important policy areas such as digitizing industry and services (FinTech, connected cars), high performance computing, artificial intelligence, modernizing public services, digital skills and healthcare. The EU has to ensure that data will flow across borders and that will be accessible by all European entrepreneurs. Digital data is an essential resource for economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and societal progress in general.

The European digital society will definitely benefit from the Digital Single Market. New health services and health monitoring, smart cities and modern e-Governance will be only a few aspects of a new digitized European Union.


79% of Europeans go online regularly. Are you ready for the new digital era? What’s your opinion?

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Sources:

Image: http://www.haptic.ro/tag/digital-single-market/

Shaping the Digital Single Market - https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/shaping-digital-single-market

European Commission – Statement - http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-17-1590_en.htm

The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) - https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/desi

Creating a digital society - https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/creating-digital-society