Digital Single Market is really starting to happen
In the coming weeks, EU countries to agree on a new telecoms policy
Maria Koleva, Brussels
12 April, 2018
Building a strong Digital Single Market, with increased investment and digital skills, and encouraging more cooperation on artificial intelligence (AI), digital healthcare and blockchain technologies, were the key topics during this year's Digital Day, 10 April. A vibrant event, convened in Brussels' 'Square' by the Commission, attracted for the discussion ministers and other representatives of Member States, MEPs, people from industry, academia and civil society.Recalling what the Digital Single Market project has achieved so far, Andrus Ansip, EC Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, asserted that without the right legal environment and without adequate investment, Europe will not have much of a digital future. The General Data Protection Regulation is about to enter fully into force across all EU countries. We have the Directive on security of network and information systems, we are strengthening cybersecurity in general, and we are creating ways for data to flow more freely across Europe, VP Ansip stated. He also pointed out that, since April, people can have access to their video and music subscriptions when they travel around Europe. In the coming weeks, EU countries should agree on a new telecoms policy that will help 5G to become a reality for millions of people and businesses. In short, the Digital Single Market is really starting to happen on the ground, VP Ansip remarked.On the Digital Day, 25 European countries declared their commitment to join forces and engage in a European approach to deal with AI. They agreed to work together on the most important issues in this field, from ensuring Europe's competitiveness in the research and deployment of AI, to dealing with social, economic, ethical and legal questions.Atomico's State of European Tech report shows that Europe is home to the world's leading AI research community. And the European tech sector identifies AI and blockchain as the areas where Europe is best positioned to play a leading role. However, VP Ansip warned: “it is no secret that we have to invest - both politically and financially, there is quite some ground to catch up.” Next achievement on the same day was the declaration on the establishment of a European Blockchain Partnership, signed by 22 European countries. Saying that, in the future, all public services will use blockchain technology, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, explained that blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data. She added that it will help to create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies. A new tool, named Innovation Radar online platform, was also kicked off during the Digital Day. It provides easy access to innovations supported by EU funding and their innovators. Using it, everybody can discover for example the outputs of EU innovation funding and “seek out innovators who could follow in the footsteps of companies such as Skype, TomTom, ARM Holdings, all of whom received EU funding in their early days.”
Photo: © European Union
VP Ansip pointed out that, since April, people can have access to their video and music subscriptions when they travel around Europe.