[ec] What can the Commission do to help the Digital Single Market?
No one should be in any doubt about the value of delivering a Digital Single Market. I would say that a DSM would have as big – or bigger – impact as the 1992 single market programme. We are talking about hundreds of billions of growth each year – most of it passing through SME hands. And it would be a legal, monetized single market; unlike the current pirate market for audiovisual material. I want us to move beyond this crazy situation where illegal file-sharing is the biggest digital single market. This is only the case because of our policy and enforcement failures and it has to end.
We need to get this legal Digital Single Market fully functioning by 2015. To do that let us all keep a few things in mind:
First – we will continue to ensure the implementation of the new telecoms framework. This provides some help to the problems we face.
Second – we need a structural solution for roaming problems. I am open-minded about what the solution is, but it has to be a permanent solution. Over the medium to long term the whole concept of roaming is simply ridiculous in a single market. Next year I will present a study on the cost on non-Europe in the Telecom market. Based on that study, the 16th implementation report and the ICT-competitiveness report I will consider whether and what new measures are necessary to create this single European Telecoms market.
Third – we need to make it possible for SMEs to deal with all the copyright and licensing issues that currently discourage EU-wide business operations. It is no wonder the US online music business is five times bigger than Europe's! Or look at the example of Vente Privée... This French fashion start-up has been the talk of Silicon Valley for months. Hundreds of businesses will try to copy its business model or apply it in other sectors in the coming months. And yet it is only available in 5 EU Member States. Why? How can governments effectively force companies like Vente Privée to shoot themselves in the foot like that?
Let's make a deal to move on from such scenarios!
The Internet is the best news for SMEs since the beginning of capitalism. In this I am serious. For most SMEs the current internet can shatter virtually every entry barrier, distance barrier and information barrier that exists to global success. As the Internet of Things develops in the future even more options will open up.
My overall objective therefore is simple: to enable SMEs to fully exploit the potential of the Internet.
Neelie Kroes European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Facilitating a competitive environment for SMEs to develop future Internet business models Telecom Conference of the SME Union Brussels, 14 July 2010