It’s been nearly a month since European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his team began their terms and the need for a digital single market continues to be a primary topic in Brussels and throughout Europe. The “Connected Digital Single Market” has been at the core of the Juncker Commission’s programme. For good reasons. Harmonizing Europe’s markets to help increase connectivity in the region will drive economic growth while also enabling further globalization outside the continent.
The cloud and LTE are having an impact on virtually every industry. It’s driving out inefficiencies and making us all more productive. It’s enabling a new shared economy. It’s bringing benefits to consumers, multi-national corporations and small- and medium-sized businesses. Removing the barriers to a digital single market in Europe could raise the GDP by at least 4% according to research by Copenhagen Economics.
The European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection recently held a workshop on “The Building Blocks of the Ubiquitous Digital Single Market.” Representatives from across the Internet ecosystem spoke on the importance of a connected digital economy across Europe.
As the Commission and Parliament prepare to work on the Digital Single Market, here are the building blocks that I believe we should keep in mind when drafting forward-looking regulation:
- Take a fresh approach to promoting competition. Look at the market as if you were addressing it for the first time.
- Promote innovation and investment. Make it easier on entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes by inspiring confidence in the marketplace.
- Avoid impeding the speed of change. The pace of change and innovation in today’s information and communications market is much faster than regulation. A model that relies on narrow rule-making will delay innovation and investment.
Having 28 segmented markets is a barrier to growth. In order to realise the benefits for the EU, entrepreneurs need to be encouraged and investment needs to be attractive. Policies must be focused on growth to enable innovation and make it easier for companies to evolve and new businesses to emerge.