Neelie Kroes: Building a connected continent

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European Internet Foundation Breakfast Debate – Brussels  24 September 2013

I am delighted to be here with you. And to present our plans for a connected continent, adopted just a fortnight ago.  We all know the climate we live in. The economy is declining. People face unemployment and uncertainty. We are not ensuring a strong society for our children to grow into.

This is no time to be putting barriers in the way of opportunity. Quite the opposite: we need to find future sources of growth and grab them with both hands. They’re our life raft out of the crisis.  ICT is definitely one of those opportunities. I’m very clear about that. Soon, broadband infrastructure could support everything we do: from flexible business services, to smarter living environments, to better healthcare. As such it could help fix many of Europe’s current challenges: supporting competitiveness, jobs, and better public services.

The ICT sector represents some of the biggest companies in the world: and Europe needs to play its part. But we are not doing so.  Europe has the tools, technology, and talent to succeed in ICT. And once, just twenty years ago, we did lead the world in that sector. So why are we not now?  This isn’t just about one sector. It’s not about telecoms, it’s not about the wider digital sector – though those are big. In fact it’s every citizen and every business.  Here to read more.

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