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Brussels, 18 December 2012
Digital Agenda Review: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Digital Agenda for Europe?
It is the EU's strategy to ensure digital technologies, including the internet, are used to make life better in Europe. It aims to reboot Europe's economy and connect citizens in new ways. It is the first of seven flagships initiatives under the EU's "Europe 2020" programme for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Why a review now?
More needs to be done to revive Europe's economy and the digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. Anything to boost the Digital Agenda will have wider positive effects. The digital sector also changes faster than most sectors. Reviewing the Commission's goals and plans three years into the Barroso II mandate is a matter of common sense.
What is changing in this review?
The review identifies seven areas where we will take more focused action to create growth and jobs in Europe enhancing skills, via ICT and digital technologies. These seven priorities/transformative actions for 2013-14 are:
What about the original Digital Agenda targets?
They will remain valid, and progress towards the original 101 targets/actions is progressing well. 38 DAE actions are now complete.
Further information on progress towards each target/action is available here
In which area is action most needed?
In particular, Europe needs a 'wake-up call' on high speed broadband. High-speed internet is the basis for the digital economy; without it, essential services such as cloud computing, eHealth, smart cities, audiovisual services – and the benefits thereby derived – will simply not take off.
What is the expected impact of the updated Digital Agenda?
Full implementation of this updated Digital Agenda should increase European GDP by 5%, or €1500 per person, over the next eight years, by increasing investment in ICT, improving e-skill levels in the labour force and reforming the framework conditions for the internet economy Furthermore, this should create 1.2 million jobs in infrastructure construction in the short term, rising to 3.8 million jobs throughout the economy in the long term. In addition, the introduction of internet-related processes is expected to lead to massive gains in productivity in traditional industries.
What has the Digital Agenda delivered so far?
The Digital Agenda is on target. For example, regular internet usage is rising steadily, especially among disadvantaged groups, online purchases continue to increase, and high-speed broadband shows the first signs of taking off, including super-fast connections above 100 Mb/S.
But relative success does not mean that work is finished changes in the sector and feedback from citizens, the European Parliament and European Council, means the Digital Agenda needs an update.
By refocusing the Digital Agenda on some key areas, the review will help the digital sector to continue to be the strongest in the European economy.
What are the highlights since 2010?