The answers to Europe’s search for new economic growth may be closer to home than expected. The European Commission today released a study showing that, if the internal market for electronic communications were completed, the EU gross domestic product (GDP) could grow by up to 110 billion euros a year, or more than 0.8% of GDP. e-Communications is a critical part of overall efforts to build a digital Single Market. This “digital bonus” for EU growth would result from more competition, increased economies of scale for telecom operators, and the chance for every European to access all online content and services throughout the EU, such as music, movies and video games. For example, new and more efficient economic activity could arise from the ability to subscribe to TV from your home country when living abroad, the possibility of receiving healthcare monitoring from your local physician while on holiday, or a business using a single Cloud computing provider for offices in many EU countries.
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: “We are wealthier and more competitive because of our Single Market. But it is not a true Single Market if the Internet and other telecoms are excluded. The digital Single Market is coffee for the economy, we’d be mad not to drink it.”
The study was carried out by an international team of experts and academics. It suggests three main types of policy measures to tackle obstacles:
- reduced regulatory fragmentation (e.g. common rules on contract duration and transparency of bills);
- more European standardisation (to allow pan-European services of assured quality to emerge in areas such as e-Health, e-Energy, e-Mobility);
- the need for more coordination of the activities of national telecoms regulators at EU level. Here to read more.