Brussels, 5 May 2010
Digital Agenda: Commission welcomes European Parliament's support
The European Parliament's views on Europe's digital future have been welcomed by European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes. In particular, the Commissioner welcomed proposals from Parliament that all EU citizens should have access to broadband internet by 2013, be able to use their mobile phones as a mobile wallet and have access to all public services online by 2015. The Commission will take into account the European Parliament's Resolution adopted today in the preparation of its forthcoming Communication on a Digital Agenda for Europe, one of the flagships of Europe 2020 (IP/10/225), the Commission’s new economic strategy for Europe.
Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "Europe will only truly benefit from the digital revolution if all EU citizens and businesses are empowered to be active and confident participants in the new digital society, which must deliver sustainable economic and social benefits. I would like to thank the European Parliament – and especially the rapporteur Pilar del Castillo - for their contribution to the debate".
In the Resolution adopted today, the Parliament called for European citizens to have access to modern digital technologies, including high speed internet, and the essential skills to understand and use them. The Resolution also stressed that consumers should be able to freely access public services online and content across the European Union. The Parliament also underlined the need for consumers to know their rights in the digital environment and for a clear legal framework to protect these rights.
In addition, the Parliament also said that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) should play an important role in promoting responsible energy consumption, and called on public services across Europe to halve their carbon footprint by 2015. The European Parliament's Resolution also emphasised the need to achieve a fully competitive electronic communications market, and asked EU institutions to eliminate the key regulatory obstacles to cross-border online transactions.
The European Parliament Resolution, and Declaration adopted by EU Telecommunications and Information Society Ministers in Granada on 20 April (see MEMO/10/137) will be taken into account by the Commission in the preparation of its Communication on a Digital Agenda for Europe, which is due to be adopted in the coming weeks.
The Digital Agenda for Europe is one of the flagships of Europe 2020, the Commission’s strategy for recovering from the financial and economic crisis and lifting up the EU economy in the next decade.
Commissioner Neelie Kroes on 12 March (SPEECH/10/87) outlined how a new "Digital Agenda for Europe" can help to create jobs, achieve growth and help Europe out of the recession.