Digital is crucial to ensure Europe‟s competitive advantage in the global economy and deliver growth and jobs. Technology will offer EU businesses new opportunities to close the gap with their competitors at global level. Innovations such as cloud services, data analytics improving efficiency in industrial processes and intelligent connected machines could add more than €2000 billion to Europe‟s GDP by 2030. Europe has lost ground in the digital sector over the last years and it is fundamental to reverse this trend.
BUSINESSEUROPE welcomes the new Commission‟s strong emphasis on the digital economy and has huge expectations from the new institutions to really deliver concrete actions. In this context, we would like to bring forward our key recommendations on the digital economy for the next five years. The following objectives need to be pursued in the years to come:
Europe needs to create the conditions to enable its future digital revolution. An integrated industrial policy is necessary to facilitate the digital transformation of all economic sectors. Legislation must enable data-driven innovation, with appropriate rules on data protection striking the right balance between protecting EU citizens and facilitating the free movement of data in the digital single market.
Europe needs to truly ensure connectivity. Policy makers need to put in place a regulatory framework where competitiveness and investment considerations are systematically taken into account. Open and non-discriminatory access to the Internet must be ensured, and users must be able to select from a range of different services, including specialised services, with different characteristics.
Europe needs to unlock the digital single market. Remaining barriers to cross-border e-commerce must be removed. The EU copyright framework must enable the development of the digital single market and should be sufficiently flexible to enable the digital evolution. Policy makers must favour digital entrepreneurship, facilitating the access to appropriate financing tools, and promote ICT skills.
Europe needs digital innovation. Policy makers need to foster digital innovation which brings commercial results, focusing on projects which can allow Europe to regain its leadership on the digital global marketplace.