We want to tear down barriers to the Digital Single Market in the EU and make the digital economy one of the most important drivers for growth and jobs.
Recently, the EPP Group adopted its position on the digital economy - a paper that outlines its priorities on issues such as roaming, investment in high-speed broadband, obstacles to internet shopping, geo-blocking, copyright and secure Internet.
Until now, legislators have reacted to developments in these sectors far too slowly. We expect ambitious and bold proposals from the European Commission Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group
And later this week, the European Commission will put forward proposals to address the needs of the digital economy. Manfred Weber, the Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, expressed his expectations: “Until now, legislators have reacted to developments in these sectors far too slowly. We expect ambitious and bold proposals from the European Commission."
Creating an integrated and secure Digital Single Market without borders
Many consumers meet very concrete barriers in the digital economy when they try to order goods and services from an online shop located in another EU country. Our MEP Róża Thun, for instance, discovered that a particular online store from the United Kingdom simply refused to deliver crockery to Poland and she ended up transporting the goods in her own suitcases!
Also, the EPP Group is committed to eliminating retail roaming charges for voice, data and SMS as soon as possible. Although roaming charges have been lowered in recent years thanks to initiatives from the EPP Group, they're still a major concern for many. Not only for families travelling on holidays to another EU country, but maybe especially for the many entrepreneurs and SMEs that try to get a foothold in markets outside their home market, as the Polish start-up company Ifinity explained while visiting the EPP Group.
Investing in infrastructure
We also want to ensure substantial investment in infrastructure, in particular in new broadband (fibre, 4G and 5G), which could be financed under the Juncker plan for investment. "We want to bring as many as possible from the slow-speed 'dirt roads' to the high-speed 'highways' of the internet," as MEP Krišjānis Kariņš expresses it.
Ultimately we should aim at creating an integrated and secure Digital Market with no borders where we limit monopolies and set innovations free, invest in high-speed internet for everybody, protect creativity without creating borders and provide for full choice wherever you are. Studies show that a fully-integrated Digital Single Market could bring the EU additional growth worth 500 billion euro.
The EPP Group now expects action to achieve these goals when the Commission present its strategy on the Digital Single Market on 6 May.