Monday, 4 January 2010

Digital Agenda for Europe - the new EU Commissioner's priorities

Just before Christmas a first round of hearings of the European Parliament with the proposed new EU Commissioners took place - in written form with responses to questionnaires provided by the parliament.

For the ICT sector, the program and ideas of the new Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Ms Neelie Kroes, are, for sure, of utmost interest. Ms Kroes' responses in the parliament questions are available online.

In this document Commissioner Kroes outlines 4 major priorities:
I intend to develop the European Digital Agenda in close cooperation with the European Parliament and the Council as well as with my Commission colleagues. My initial priorities are: (i) building the high speed networks of the future; (ii) making the online single market a reality; (iii) ensuring that all citizens participate in the information society; and (iv) generating more, better targeted support for ICT research and innovation. Both citizens and industry have a role to play in driving innovation, whether big or small, incumbent or challenger, blue-chip or start-up. (p. 4)
At the end of the document, in the section with the forward looking title "Developing Policy for a Digital Citizenship, Commissioner Kroes indicates a programmatic approach to ICT standardisation for Europe:
I will pay special attention to Europe's contribution to producing high-quality open ICT standards. (p. 7)
Finally, she concludes with mentioning some areas for action inclduing the following:
Further key actions include: following up on the eGovernment, e-Inclusion and eHealth Action Plans and Ministerial declarations. I will also be considering proposals for a Regulation on the eCall vehicle safety system and for the development of our policy on ICT for Energy Efficiency. (p. 7)
I find this a very promising document. Commissioner Kroes includes all major areas for action around ICT, she includes the relevance of open standards - simply a great outlook for what is needed and of areas of action by the Commission.

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