Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, the College of Commissioners approved the DSM strategy.
Digitisation has changed the environment we live in.
The internal market is not functioning as it should.
We need change, to support jobs and growth, and the DSM provides solutions for people and businesses.
Within the DSM, I want people to be able to "buy-like-at-home"… and companies to "sell-like-at-home".
We want companies to use the DSM to scale-up, not to move out.
The DSM will contain 3 pillars of targeted and balanced initiatives, which form an interlinked package.
The first pillar aims to remove existing barriers. For that, the Commission:
Will propose simple and effective cross-border contract rules with reinforced consumer protection cooperation;
Present an initiative on parcel delivery to improve price transparency;
Launch a comprehensive review preparing for legal changes to tackle unjustified geo-blocking, together with a competition inquiry into online trading;
Modernize copyright rules, to help creators and content industry, consumers and innovators, to adapt to a fast evolving environment.
Present an initiative to reduce the burden on SMEs that comes from the different VAT regimes across Europe.
For the DSM to work properly, the second pillar of the DSM focuses on high-quality infrastructure, which has to function smoothly across all of Europe.
We also need to create the right and fair conditions in the underlying environment.
In a moment, I would like to ask Günther to explain how we propose to act in this area.
The third pillar is about the European digital economy and society.
Digitising industry is vital for maintaining growth. Supporting startups ensures jobs and business innovation.
Data gives huge potential for productivity and competitiveness across all economic sectors.
The Commission will propose an initiative on the free flow of data.
We will also propose a plan for integrated standardisation across sectors, to accelerate the roll-out of essential services – transport, energy and health.
We will promote e-government, to help to modernise public administrations and to achieve interoperable public services between Member States.
The vast majority of Member States have asked for the DSM to happen.
The strategy reflects their contributions, and those of the European Parliament's main political groups.
All these initiatives must be implemented in a coordinated way for the DSM to become reality, to bring tangible benefits, create jobs and growth.
The strategy is a starting point, not the finishing-line.
I hope all EU institutions will agree on a clear timeline for taking this project forward.
I would like to thank the President and my fellow Commissioners and the many colleagues involved in this true team effort.
One thing we already delivered – today, was the first - almost - 'paperless' college meeting …