Written by Marcin Szczepański
Information and communication technologies and the digital economy have the potential to improve Europe’s productivity and create growth and jobs. The EU has been making efforts to help create a more integrated European digital economy since the mid-1990s. In 2010, the Commission added new momentum to the process, and with the launch of the Digital Agenda set out to reap the benefits of a digital single market for households and businesses.
Despite a relatively high level of implementation of the actions on the Agenda and the adoption of numerous legislative initiatives, the Digital Single Market remains fragmented into 28 national markets, and the EU continues to lag behind its main international competitors.
The new European Commission recognised these shortcomings and the potential of the internet economy to help Europe recover from the crisis, and so placed completion of the Digital Single Market high on its agenda to the extent that there is now a dedicated project team of 13 Commissioners. In its 2015 Work Programme, the Commission outlined its intentions to conclude work on key pending proposals and table new legislative and non-legislative initiatives in this promising but challenging policy field, however to what extent tangible results will be achieved remains to be seen.