Viviane Reding (Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society
ICT research and telecoms: Europe's opportunity to lead global competition
European Policy Centre: Breakfast Policy Briefing, Brussels, 3 October 2008
ICT is changing the nature of economic activity and social interaction. It is entwined in our economic and social fabric – in areas as diverse as telecommunications, government services, car electronics, or entertainment. This development is fuelled by the increasing pervasiveness and power of the Internet.
• Businesses are using ICT to improve efficiency and promote innovation. Today, ICT is an integral part of almost every other sector of the economy, and this key set of technologies represents as much as 40% of overall productivity growth.
• Doctors are diagnosing patients remotely. Students and researchers use the Internet to participate in distance education and to collaborate with colleagues around the world. Consumers are enjoying cheaper phone calls and making purchases on-line.
The question is: How can we, as policymakers, ensure that Europe continues to harness the potential of ICT, so critical for our economic prosperity and international competitive standing? Furthermore, how can we help our businesses, administrations and citizens to make the best out of the technology at hand and of its future developments?