People at the heart of the digital economy

A consumer-centric Digital Single Market

The digital economy is the cornerstone of growth and employment in the EU. It is fundamental to the modernisation of traditional industry. With estimated gains of 500 billion euro in additional growth and a substantial boost to job creation in Europe, we are leading the effort to create the right environment for the digital economy to thrive, deliver broader choice to consumers and promote social inclusion.

Consumers need to be at the heart of the Digital Single Market. With consumer spending accounting for approximately 56% of EU GDP, we need to benefit from the choices of a functioning and diversified Digital Single Market. This means regulations to avoid discrimination based on geographic location, against practices such as geo-blocking for online shopping and payments. Consumers must be able to watch their favourite TV show even when they travel, or have access to their domestic subscription for online music, film or sport broadcast services when travelling to another Member State on a temporary basis.

Promoting inclusion and innovation

As digital services are the fastest growing sector of the economy, we need to develop the infrastructure to support that growth. Especially in remote areas, where investment in infrastructure is less commercially attractive, but necessary to make sure everyone has access to the internet.

We also need to ensure that the digital economy serves social and generational inclusion. Europeans must be digitally literate to enable our ICT sector to be globally competitive. We believe that, only by the promotion of digital skills at every stage of education and vocational training, will Europe be able to provide the highly-qualified workers and employees that the sector needs.

Digital innovation in Europe will also only be possible if we create the adequate regulatory environment: one that actively encourages innovation and allows innovative ideas to be quickly brought onto the market, as well as facilitating the establishment and sales of these products and services as a quality brand worldwide. We need to enable young Europeans to start up and scale up.

In addition, if we want to keep up in the global economy and make the EU an attractive place to invest, establish and run businesses, Europe needs to actively strengthen and incentivise the digitalisation of other industries, such as manufacturing (smart factories), the energy and transport sectors, the retail sector and SMEs, public services and the education.

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