Overview[edit | edit source]

On May 19, 2010, the European Commission launched the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. It defines the key role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Europe to succeed in its ambitions for 2020. The objective of this Agenda is to chart a course to maximize the social and economic potential of ICT, most notably the internet, a vital medium of economic and societal activity: for doing business, working, playing, communicating and expressing ourselves freely. Successful delivery of this Agenda will spur innovation, economic growth and improvements in daily life for both citizens and businesses.

Wider deployment and more effective use of digital technologies will enable Europe to address its key challenges and will provide Europeans with a better quality of life through, for example, better health care, safer and more efficient transport solutions, cleaner environment, new media opportunities and easier access to public services and cultural content.

At the EU level, the European Commission will work:

At the national level, Member States will need:

  • To draw up operational high-speed internet strategies, and target public funding (including structural funds) on areas not fully served by private investments;
  • To establish a legal framework for co-ordinating public works to reduce costs of network rollout.

The European Commission committed itself to establishing a Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU institutions (CERT-EU), as part of the EU's commitment to a reinforced and high level EU Networking and Information Security Policy in Europe. The Digital Agenda also calls on all Member States to establish their own CERTs, paving the way to an EU-wide network of national and governmental Computer Emergency Response Teams by 2012. The EU's Council of Telecoms Ministers adopted conclusions on May 27, 2011, confirming this objective.

The initiative also assumes that digital technologies can help societies and policy makers to address several challenges. Mobility is one of the areas of application of the Digital Agenda: "Human error is involved in 95% of all traffic accidents on Europe's roads, in which more than 30,000 people are killed and 1.5 million injured every year. Road transport also burns one quarter of the European Union's overall energy consumption, with one fifth of the EU's CO2 emissions caused by road vehicles. eSafety "smart" technologies, based on the powers of computers and telecoms, can make a major difference to these figures.

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