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25.06.2015 A Digital Single Market for Europe

Source: istockphoto

The Internet and digital technologies are transforming our world – in every walk of life and in every line of business. But public administrations and private companies do not benefit from it yet. Therefore the European Commission is planning a common digital market.

The primary aim is to eliminate barriers imposed by regulations and combine the 28 national markets into one. A Digital Single Market that performs well could contribute to economy with € 415 billion a year and could also create hundreds of thousands of new Jobs.

For a digital Europe

This EU-strategy comprises a number of measures that should be implemented by the end of next year. Basically this strategy is based on three pillars:

  • Pillar I: Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe
  • Pillar II: Creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish
  • Pillar III: Maximizing the growth potential of the digital economy

Benefits for Administration

The Digital Single Market Strategy sets out 16 key actions – some of them could also be interesting for the Austrian administration, especially in the fields of e-health, traffic planning or energy. Common standards have to be set to guarantee an appropriate interoperability.

To strengthen its cyber security by developing solutions for more network security, the European Commission is planning to cooperate with the industry. Also important: increasing the safety of digital services - especially when dealing with personal data. Based on the new EU-data protection regulations the Commission will launch a review of the guideline for e-data protection.

E-government action plan

A new e-government action plan foresees to connect company registers throughout Europe to guarantee the compatibility of national systems and to provide that citizen and company data are conveyed to the public administration just once. In the future, authorities no longer should call up information several times if they are already available.

This “only once” initiative will cut red tape and potentially save around € 5 billion per year by 2017. The roll-out of e-procurement and interoperable e-signatures will be accelerated.

Further steps

The Digital Single Market project team will deliver on these different actions by the end of 2016. With the backing of the European Parliament and the Council, the Digital Single Market should be completed as soon as possible. President Jean-Claude Juncker: “Today, we lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future. I want to see pan-continental telecoms networks, digital services that cross borders and a wave of innovative European start-ups.”