The European Commission’s investment drive to boost the region’s economy will include billions euros of spending on digital technology, EU Digital Economy Commissioner Günther Oettinger told a German magazine.
He said talks with telecom groups, authorities, local communities and investors about expanding digital networks would start next year.
“It will be about the questions of who will do what and how the expansion can be financed. A double-digit billion euro amount qualifies for this as part of the EU’s investment package,” he told German magazine Focus in an excerpt of an article to be fully published today [8 December].
Last month, the European Commission presented a €300 billion plan to boost Europe’s stagnant economy. However, some analysts doubted private investors would stump up the funds needed to make it work.
The EU is setting aside just €8 billion, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) €5 billion to help provide capital for the special fund to be managed with the European Investment Bank.
The cash, designed to tempt in private investors, could multiply into €300 billion in investment over the next three years to create a million jobs.
The Digital Agenda for Europe was adopted in 2010, as part of the Europe 2020 strategy, to stimulate the digital economy and address societal challenges through ICT.
EU heads of states have since called for further strengthening of the European digital leadership and completion of the Digital Single Market by 2015 (read EU summit conclusions of June 2012 and March 2012).