Maroš Šefčovič: Internet economy – opportunity for sustainable growth and employment

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Internet Economy workshop – Alliance for Internet Economy- Brussels  18 September 2013 

In her famous Bruges speech in 1988, Margaret Thatcher identified the single market as our best competitive advantage. What she did not know was one day something called the internet would make her statement even more topical.

More than two decades later, the digital single market is indeed our new frontier. It will allow us to compete with new economic powers and it will bring huge benefits to every European citizen.  Today we are talking about the digital, internet or even the so-called app economy, which generates hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of euros a year.

Given the fact that 5 years after the global crisis we are still struggling with its impact, especially the serious problem of high unemployment across Europe, the digital economy has the real potential to restore European economic growth.  The importance of the digital part of the European economy was obvious already back in 2010 when the DAE – the Digital Agenda for Europe – was identified as one of the flagship initiatives under the EU 2020 Strategy. The Digital Single Market, interoperability and standards, trust and security, fast internet access, research and innovation, enhancing digital literacy and skills – these are the key pillars of the DAE pushed forward in order to create a fully operational Digital Single Market across Europe.

Full implementation of the DAE could increase EU GDP by 5% or 1500 euros per person over the next 8 years. In terms of employment, 1.2 million new jobs could be created through the construction of the digital infrastructure.  There is no doubt that we need to accomplish this objective.  Establishing a digital single market would mean that information can be exchanged easily and swiftly across borders, helping citizens and businesses to fully benefit from the freedoms of the single market. Here to read more.

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