Decisions to strengthen the digital internal market at the European Council have been well welcomed by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
There is potential for the digital internal market to help promote economic growth and increase the number of jobs.
However, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) stated that there are a number of barriers “preventing the citizen from truly being at the heart of the digital single market.”
Some of these barriers include: infrastructure problems; unclear legal framework, unclear definition of citizens’ rights, lack of implementation of complaint resolution schemes, discrepancies in the consumer environment in different Member States, cybersecurity, lack of implementation of e‑procurement, e-signatures and e-Government services.
According to the EESC, actions necessary to tackle this problem include:
- Free and universal access
- Open internet and net neutrality
- Prevention of abuses
- ICT standardization
- Inter-operability and inter-connectivity
- Cloud computing
- Price control, i.e. minimum tariffs
- Education and training
- Protection against cyber-fraud and cybercrime (e.g. piracy and counterfeiting)
- Safety (incl. data protection and privacy, protection of children, the elderly and the disabled)
- A charter of Digital Rights
- Application of the consumer rights directive to digital content
- Revision of the legislation on e-commerce, e-payments, mobile telephony, etc.
- Revision of broadcasting policy
- Information campaigns
- Participation and involvement of civil society at all levels of political decision-making
- Publication of an EU guide to digital services.
The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, said:
“Decisive impulses for the future-oriented market related to the internet and telecommunications are indispensable for economic growth in Europe, if we do not want to throw away what has been achieved.”
Currently, 4.5 percent of the added value produced by trade and industry in Germany is because of its digital economy.