17 October, 2019

Europe 2030: a shared ambition for digital leadership

European citizens enjoy a unique way of life, built on a rich set of common values. Today, our lives increasingly thrive  depend on technological innovation. Connectivity and digital services are at the forefront: from the app economy to social networks, from the transition to 5G and fibre networks to new services enabled by Artificial Intelligence and blockchain.

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How do we ensure that Europeans are able to see their values reflected in their new digital way of life? While the EU must remain firmly open to global competition, it is high time to pull forces together and work on building European digital leadership. Together, we can work towards achieving the most ambitious of the goals: Europe, in 2030, must be  a global leader in new digital technologies, shift from consumer to exporter of digital services and be able to provide a European choice to its ‘digital’ citizens.

The risk we want to avoid is clear: the EU and its Member States cannot become followers in digital technology. We must avoid a scenario in which we are only recipients of non-European technology, business models and governing principles for the digital economy. While standards and regulation can mitigate some of these risks, only digital leadership can tackle them in a structural way.

The opportunity we want to grasp is exceptional: deep socio-economic digitalisation, supported by robust public policies, will help Europe to tackle many of today’s societal challenges: climate change, transition to new job markets, sustainable economic growth and social inclusion – just to name a few. The good news is: many of the fundamentals are there, but a major leap forward in European tech innovation and investment is required.

ETNO, throughout 2019, has consulted with its Members, Observer Members and with a broad range of key stakeholders. Leading telecom companies, representatives from traditional industries, civil society, policymakers, users and consumer groups, creative industries, tech companies. All of us, together, should collaborate to achieve European Digital Leadership. None of us, alone, will be able to realise this goal.

ETNO proposes to the European Commission (EC), the European Parliament (EP) and to the Council of the European Union (CoEU) that we work together on building the 3 essential pillars of European Digital Leadership:

  • World-Class Connectivity:

A cutting-edge innovation ecosystem must be supported by world-class connectivity powered by fibre and 5G. Europe must roll out ubiquitous infrastructure that is secure and sustainable, in the context of an investment-inducing environment that minimises barriers to network roll-out.

  • European Leadership in Technologies and Services: 

In areas of strategic importance, we should promote the creation and the uptake of Europe-made services, technologies and models, by supporting industrial collaboration and strengthening EU’s industrial capabilities, enabling European companies to take full part in the growing data economy, and leveraging trust as a competitive differentiator.

  • Citizens at the centre:

Digital leadership is not only an economic imperative, but it also requires that we put digitalisation at the service of European citizens. The EU and the digital sector should promote citizen-centricity by strengthening skill development and equality, by stimulating demand in European digital services that have a high value for individuals and society and by ensuring digitisation of public services across the board.

Discover the full document below.

© ETNO 2021
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