A Digital Single Market for a Digital Europe9 November 2010
Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, praised the EPC’s work in furthering the debate on the Digital Single Market, and explained that the Digital Agenda means creating a competitive digital economy on many fronts, stimulating both demand and supply of digital services. The Commission’s own Digital Agenda Action Plan, designed to do this, contains 101 actions in seven areas, backed up by 31 pieces of legislation.
She outlined the groups that need to be supported: consumers must be protected against the misuse of data, and there must be consumer rights and responsibilities, with access to legal redress if necessary. Licensing should be as efficient as possible and work in the interests of commercial users, consumers and copyright holders and the Commission’s framework Directive on collective rights’ management is designed to enhance the governance, transparency and pan-European licensing for (online) rights management.
We need to develop Europe’s networks, and a recent package of proposals encourages investment in competitive next generation access networks, through clear, effective regulatory measures. The Commission is also working with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to attract capital for broadband investments to widen access to broadband for all EU citizens by 2013. It also wants to encourage competition in the sector, to ensure it can keep abreast of the competition from Asian countries.
Moving onto the issue of cross-border roaming charges, Commissioner Kroes said it was wrong that consumers find services can rise by 3000% when they cross borders. As efforts to sort this out have been “disappointing” the effectiveness of the current roaming regulation is being reviewed, with the aim of settling this with all the parties involved, introducing legislation is this is not successful.
The Commissioner said a Digital Single Market should be inclusive and democratic; driven both by economics and by a truly digital society, and everyone should be given sufficient digital literacy skills to take up the opportunities on offer.