The European Commission's strategy for the single digital market was set out in 2015 and aims to ensure the best possible access to online services for individuals and companies and could with a fully-functioning, single digital market contribute up to €415 billion to the European economy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. The single digital market is one that ensures the free flow of people, services, and capital, and where individuals and companies can access and perform online activities without interruption and in fair competition, with a high level of consumer protection and data protection, regardless of their citizenship or place of residence. The European Commission has placed the competitiveness of the single digital market among its top 10 political priorities.
The strategy for the single digital market is based on three pillars:
- greater availability of online products and services to consumers and companies,
- a stimulating environment for digital networks and services and
- digitisation as the driver of economic growth.
The strategy for the single digital market pursues the following goals:
- encouraging e-commerce in the EU by removing geo-blocking and ensuring cheaper and more efficient cross-border parcel delivery,
- updating the rules on copyright for the digital age,
- updating EU audiovisual rights and establishing the same competitive conditions for comparable digital sources, handling illegal online content and the protection of the most vulnerable users,
- strengthening the European response to cyber-attacks by bolstering ENISA for dealing with cyber security and establishing effective deterrent and criminal law for better protecting European citizens, companies and public institutions,
- releasing the potential of the European data economy through clear rules for free flow of non-personal data in the EU,
- ensuring that everybody in the EU has the best possible internet connection through the connectivity for the European gigabit society,
- adapting the rules on e-privacy to the new digital environment and
- assisting small and large enterprises, researchers, citizens, and public bodies in creating new technologies, making certain that everybody has the required digital know-how, financing EU research and development in healthcare and high-capacity computing.
In the interim review of progress in 2017 the European Commission identified three areas that require additional action:
- development of the European data economy’s full potential,
- protection of European advantages by resolving the issues of cyber security and
- encouraging online platforms to become responsible players in a just internet ecosystem.
During this time 35 legislative proposals and political initiatives were adopted, as outlined in the strategy for the single digital market.
The strategy’s most significant already completed measures include eliminating the costs of mobile roaming, portability of online content services, and the political agreement on coordinating the use of the 700 MHz frequency band, which allows for the introduction of 5G in 2020.
The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) summarizes the indicators of success and development in member states in digital competitiveness.
Current news on the strategy of the single digital market and additional information are available at the following link.
All information about DESI are available at this link.