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Günter Verheugen

Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Enterprise and Industry

Launch of the ICT Task Force

First Meeting of the ICT Task Force
Brussels, 7th June 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to a Task-Force that:

  • represents every facet of the ICT manufacturing and services sectors;
  • brings together industry with other stakeholders in the sector: trades unions, SMEs, chambers of commerce, consumers, investors and academia.

The context of the Task-Force: our new industrial policy

  • The Task-force is one of the sector-specific initiatives foreseen in the Commission’s Communication on industrial policy in October 2005.
  • Industrial policy should not ...
  • ... disturb well-functioning markets.
  • ... pick winners.
  • ... be protectionist.
  • ... take over industry's role.
  • The Commission’s new industrial policy is about improving framework conditions across industrial sectors in different policy areas: e.g. research and innovation, trade, environment, public procurement, education and training ...
  • Targeted sectoral actions complement our framework policy approach, working with the markets and stakeholders via high-level groups and task-forces, such as this ICT Task-Force.

The ICT Task-Force

  • Your aim is to help us ensure that public policy provides a supportive environment for fostering the competitiveness of the ICT sector and the uptake of ICT in Europe.
  • We expect the mebers of the task force, via the working groups, to:
  • inventory obstacles to the competitiveness of the sector and to the uptake of ICT;
  • identify the most important obstacles;
  • recommend possible policy responses.
  • We are particularly interested in recommendations that aim to strengthen links and synergies between policies addressing:
  • Better Regulation
  • R&D
  • innovation
  • education and training
  • for firms large and small — the business environment.

The Commission is very interested to hear your views on where the Commission should be concentrating its efforts towards enhancing the competitiveness of the ICT sector.

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