The Commission wants everyone to have better access to digital goods and services, to reliable high-speed infrastructure and to get the most out of the digital economy.The internet and digital technologies are transforming the world. Europe must open up digital opportunities for people and businesses. At present, online barriers mean citizens miss out on opportunities to buy goods and services: only 15 % of EU citizens shop online from another EU country. Internet companies and start-ups do not take full advantage of online growth opportunities: only 7 % of small businesses sell cross-border. Businesses and governments are also not fully benefiting from digital tools.
A fully functional digital single market could contribute to the EU’s economy and create jobs. The digital single market strategy proposed by the Commission in May 2015 contains a set of actions to be achieved by the end of 2016. The Commission aims at providing better online access to digital goods and services by, eg. harmonising EU rules on contracts and consumer, or promoting cheaper cross-border parcel delivery services. They also aim at ending unjustified geo-blocking — a discriminatory practice where online sellers either deny consumers access to a website based on their location or re-route them to a local store with different prices. Such blocking can mean that, for example, car rental customers in one EU country may end up paying more for an identical car rental in the same location than customers from another EU country EU also aims at modernising copyright law to allow for wider online access to cultural works across the EU. In particular, the Commission wants to ensure that users who buy films, music or articles at home can also enjoy them while travelling across Europe.
Another aim is Embarking on an ambitious overhaul of telecoms rules: all digital services, applications and content depend on the availability of high-speed, secure infrastructures. This requires a strong, competitive and dynamic telecoms sector. Action needs to be taken to tackle the fact that markets remain isolated and national.
Maximising the growth potential of the digital economy is also encouraged. This will be achieved by investment in ICT infrastructure for, to give an example, cloud computing and use of ‘big data’, as well as research and innovation to boost industrial competiveness. It will also include better public services and improved digital skills for citizens — in short, an ‘inclusive society.
Source: Europe Direct Information Centre of Hajdú-Bihar
Hajdú-Bihar Megyei Europe Direct Információs Központ