Mobility, broadband, and the cloud are giving us new opportunities to address some of society’s biggest challenges including creating more economic growth. Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund announced that the Eurozone’s risk of re-entering a recession have roughly doubled since April, to nearly 38%. To break the grips of this weak economic growth, Europe will look to innovation and the digital economy.
Here are two specific areas where we can be more ambitious…
Expanding Digital Skills:
AT&T recently sponsored an event hosted by the European Liberal Forum on “Democracy through Fibre, the Promise of E-Literacy” in Sofia, Bulgaria. Digital skills can expand economic opportunity and help alleviate high unemployment. Research shows up to 900,000 digital jobs risk going unfilled by 2020 without pan-European coordination, while 1.2 million jobs could be created through ICT infrastructure construction.
At the event, I had the pleasure of participating in a discussion with Gergana Passy, the Digital Champion of Bulgaria and former EU Minister of Bulgaria. The EU’s Digital Champions are ambassadors for the Digital Agenda appointed by their Members States to help every European become digitally savvy. The group recently issued a joint mission statement and their number one focus: creating a “Digitally Skilled Society.” They noted the importance of “motivating individuals of all ages to widen and update their digital skills, making them aware of how IT can facilitate their lives and enhance their work capabilities.”
Creating a Digital Single Market:
Europe’s digital market is fragmented with 28 sets of Member State regulations today – making investments in new technologies and innovations difficult. The burden of complying with so many distinct regulatory frameworks is a barrier to investment for large, medium and small businesses. Modernizing our regulatory model in a way that encourages more streamlining of regulatory approaches will help encourage investors and entrepreneurs.
Similarly, the digital single market was a popular topic of discussion at several of the Parliament hearings for the new European Commission. For good reason. A single digital market in Europe would raise the GDP by at least 4% according to research by the European Parliament. Not having a digital single market would cost Europe €260 billion per year in efficiency losses.
Let’s change the culture of innovation in Europe and find ways to develop policies that lead to more investment and job growth on the continent.
– See more at: http://www.attglobalpolicy.com/europes-economy-connecting-e-literacy-growth/#sthash.M3yJDCeW.dpuf