In het voorjaar van 2015 presenteerde de Europese Commissie haar strategie voor de digitale interne markt. Ruim drie jaar na de lancering is een deel van de agenda voltooid, maar een aanzienlijk deel ook nog niet.
Ray Pinto is Digital Transformation Policy Director at DIGITALEUROPE, the leading trade association representing digitally transforming industries in Europe. NLdigital and FIAR CE are Dutch members of DIGITALEUROPE.
If Mr. Pinto would be the next Commissioner for digital policy he would make sure that European industry is in the DNA of his policies, investment in digitalisation of businesses would be encouraged and bridging the skills gap would involve industry, trade unions, institutes, NGOs and governments from all member states.
Governance of the digital economy would be concentrated on enhancing Europe’s industrial innovation, digital skills, strategic investment, networks and digital ecosystems, coordination and harmonisation. All the while his policies would remain aligned with international commitments and not discriminate against third party companies because many European innovations stem from complex international value chains.
'Europe should remain open to international investments and markets'
Therefore, Europe should remain open to international investments and markets, with a strong vibrant ecosystem of SMEs ready to take on the global market. EU industry should defend itself against cyberattacks, access 5G and similar technologies and adopt technologies such as AI and IoT.
Europe needs to remove barriers, develop common standards and harmonise rules to create a single market. European industry can use technologies to unlock innovation, provide new opportunities to workers, decarbonise and generally do more with less.
The Commission should incorporate incentives, funding and investment for industries and governments to share data for research, growth and developing citizen-focused services. This would require a industry stakeholder dialogue understanding the complexity of consent and how to agree on standards and incentives in order to encourage private and public exchanging of high-quality dataset, ensuring voluntary participation. On international trade data flows will be important and will require introducing chapters in all trade agreements without undermining GDPR.
'Forced data access risks a negative impact on competition and innovation'
Forced data access risks a negative impact on competition and innovation. It could disincentivise collection and organisation of the data so needed for AI development. The recommended approach is a dialogue with industry, sector by sector. There are technical, societal and legal challenges for data sharing. Some legal headwinds to navigate are privacy laws, security issues and intellectual property rules.
Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
We need more investment because this will help businesses operating in Europe to migrate to the cloud and adopt data analytics. Only 11% of EU enterprises today use big data.
The digital transformation of the European industry will require reskilling and upskilling the workforce. It has become clear that robots and automation require human involvement and oversight. We need to involve industry, trade unions, institutes, NGOs, governments from all member states in developing and leveraging public funds to reskill the workforce. They should asses the skills gap in each Member State and define solutions and acknowledge the link between digital competences and emerging ‘’21st-century skills’’ like interpersonal and cognitive skills.
'Schools should be provided on a European scale with relevant educational equipment'
Specific emphasis is to be laid on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in predominately secondary schools. Existing best practices should be shared, and teachers should be included much more in the development and identification of new skills relevant for the digital age. Schools should be provided on a European scale with relevant educational equipment which will enable students to experiment and make their own active experiences with translating analogue data into digital applications.
Learn more of DIGITALEUROPE’s positions in its call to action for a Stronger Digital Europe in 2025