Europe is in the midst of change.
Exceptional opportunities and challenges require strong European political leadership in the technology space. The US and China are already driving significant changes in our societies and economies through technological leadership. We, industrial leaders in the telecoms sector, believe that a cooperative approach to EU policymaking is of the essence to find a European way for global tech leadership. The aim is to create an outward-looking Union that competes on the global stage, based on European values, with a solid industry able to deliver sustainable growth and enhance welfare for all EU citizens.
Our European identity is built on values, diversity and collaboration, and it should be mirrored in our bid to assert global leadership.
A rich tapestry of innovators, sharing the same direction of travel, will deliver this goal. No entity, no industry can do it alone. All societal and industrial actors need to work together: from the telecoms sector to manufacturing, from the public administration to the education system, from industrial champions to startups and SMEs.
We launch a Dialogue for Tech Leadership to craft a shared European vision for our tech future.
We invite policymakers, businesses and citizen organisations to come together and shape a policy vision for an inclusive, trusted and competitive digital future for Europe. In the past, the direction of Europe’s policy has often led us down the path of adversarial battles, leading to suboptimal outcomes. As we move to a new EU term, policymakers, industry and stakeholders have the opportunity to overcome these battles, close ranks and work together on policies
that help forge an ethical and competitive economy. Only trust-based collaboration among all parts of society and across the industrial ecosystems will make this possible.
New telecom networks and services underpin EU leadership, inclusion and sustainable development.
5G and fibre networks – together with new European services based on data and Artificial Intelligence – provide an opportunity for EU tech leadership and fresh new socio-economic growth. For Europe to truly seize this, all parts of society and all industrial sectors should be on board: we must work to ensure that new networks and services meet the needs of all citizens, fighting together against geographic, economic or generational digital divides.
5G and fibre networks will deliver higher speeds, increased capacity, quicker reaction times, providing for more opportunities. Artificial Intelligence will assist networks in allocating capacity where it is needed, but it will also improve user experience and help responsibly extract socio-economic value from the vast volumes of data available today.
Europe should seize the opportunity to lead in this new territory, which will in turn promote digital inclusion for all and foster a more sustainable model of development. For this to happen, it must empower workers and citizens with the necessary skills to adapt, and put in place a policy environment that strongly supports innovation, investment and manages the disruption that digital innovations will bring across society.
Our initial contribution to the Dialogue for Tech Leadership revolves around 5 principles for action, starting from shared values and with a view to deliver what Europe’s citizens want and need.
- Leadership. New generation policies ensure that innovation and investment generate leading European products and services that can be exported globally. Our citizens have the right to choose also from services based on European values and developed by companies who compete on an equal footing with global peers.
- Prosperity. New generation policies for inclusive growth are based on investment and increased integration of European markets. They should reduce socio-economic divides, including the digital ones, support the positive
effects of technology-driven transformation and work on preventing the negative impact on our society and economy.
- Trust. New generation policies aim to ensure all actors in complex value chains share the responsibility for handling data responsibly, securely and leverage new technologies to keep citizens safe in a digitised world. This is key to ensure people welcome new technologies, services and applications.
- Collaboration. New generation policies promote and support collaboration among industrial sectors, and among civil society and industry, letting market forces work as freely as possible while avoiding systems that stand in the way of collaboration by artificially picking winners and losers via mandated solutions.
- Pragmatism. New generation policies are grounded in facts, they follow transparent processes adapted to fast-paced change and do not promote intervention before innovation happens. While regulation can be the right answer, co-regulation, guidelines and codes of conduct can also prove an efficient way to close the gap between the pace of policymaking and that of technological innovation.
Dialogue for Tech Leadership:
As from this year on Europe Day (May 9, 2019), ETNO is promoting a “Dialogue for Tech Leadership” inviting the representatives of user groups, tech players as well as leading policymakers in the digital and telecoms field. The aim of the Dialogue is to promote an open exchange among stakeholders on the future policy approach to tech and digital in Europe. The dialogue will culminate with the presentation of ETNO’s Policy Agenda in the fall of 2019.