EU revamps digital agenda

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The European Commission launched on Tuesday a list of digital priorities for the next 2 years.

Brussels claims these measures can boost Europe’s economy and create millions of jobs through investing in digital infrastructure.

The new proposals hope to increase broadband investment and accelerating cloud computing. Measures to revamp copyright, e-government and cyber-security are also included.

‘Today I am presenting a “to-do” list, for 2013 and 2014. It is for some a wake-up call, for others this is just a confirmation and for other this is just a dream. Broadband and jobs are the topics. But the message is that we need to take risks and please just skip the word ‘risk avoiding”; we should push ourselves’, said EC’s vice-president Neelie Kroes.

‘The seven actions revolve around broadband and getting the economy moving. Some of it we already started- like stabilising regulation for broadband through to 2020. In 2013 we will make that concrete, with a package of 10 actions just on broadband. (…) So the time for thinking and complaining is over’, said EC’s vice-president Neelie Kroes.

The EU estimates that the digital economy is growing seven times faster than the rest of the European economy.

But according to EC’s vice-president Neelie Kroes, a “patchy pan-European policy framework” is preventing Europe from reaching its full digital potential. Without action at EU level Kroes said, over one million digital jobs could go unfilled by 2015.

‘There are some legislative elements – like the Cyber security Directive that is planned. But instead of just spending more money or writing more laws, in most cases in the digital world, you can do more and quicker by just bringing people together. This is why we run so many dialogues – like with copyright; or build coalitions – like for kids online and to increase jobs and skills’, said EC’s vice-president Neelie Kroes. .

Adopted in 2010, the Digital Agenda sets targets for 2020. It aims at using ICT to expand the EU economy and meet social goals.

Eurostat statistics released on Tuesday showed that over 70% of European households currently have broadband internet access. This is 40% more than in 2006.

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