Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions
Preparing Europe’s digital future - i2010 Mid-Term Review COM(2008) 199 final
The i20102 strategy, launched on 1 June 2005, was the first coherent policy framework for the era of convergent telecommunication and media services. Much progress has been made in the past three years. A few examples suffice to show the breadth of achievements: a new regulatory framework for audiovisual media services is in place; proposals to reform the regulation of electronic communications have been launched; regulation to create a single market for mobile phone use across borders is in operation; initiatives to boost online content in Europe are under discussion; major new R&D and innovation funding initiatives are up and running (the Seventh Research Framework and the ICT Policy Support Programme under the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme — CIP); ground-breaking public private partnerships (Joint Technology Initiatives) have just been launched; and new eInclusion initiatives are on track.
The current assessment of the Lisbon Strategy6 shows that structural reforms are starting to pay off, but the economic landscape is fragmented. This overall picture is also true for the information society. While the 2007 Strategic Lisbon Report confirms the prominence of ICTs in structural reform and half of Member States have strengthened their R&D and ICT policies, many parts of the EU still lag behind in adopting ICTs.
The following issues are thus becoming strategic for competitiveness and ICT take-up in Europe:
• Europe has made big progress towards the networked economy, but it needs to shift up a gear to lead the transition to next-generation networks while not slacking off in its efforts to overcome the digital divide.
• Europe should take better advantage of its number one economic asset, the largest
consumer market in the developed world; however, despite the global spread of the
Internet, further steps are needed to create a Single Market for the digital economy.
• ICT research expenditure is still below target in most Member States. Greater efforts are needed to pool resources by coordinating research and innovation efforts.
• As the Internet permeates daily life, public expectations and concerns about the
information society are changing. Safeguards need to evolve to match technology and
market developments, without stifling the huge opportunities that online social and
economic activity offers.