European Digital Champions advocate “Digital President”

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Europe’s Digital Champions call on the candidates for the position of President of the European Commission to present a digital strategy fit for the 21st century. The Digital Champions consist of 19 advisers to the European Commission in the field of the Digital Agenda.

In the letter, they presented a four point agenda. The first point stated that one cannot speak of the “digital economy” since all aspects of the economy have a digital component. Comparing the revolutionary forces of the Internet to the 18th century steam engine and electricity in the 19th century, the Digital Champions argued that the next President of the Commission should streamline the digital portfolio across all key dossiers.

The second point argued for a “Grand Coalition on Digital Jobs”. It stated that “[t]here can be no convincing strategy for delivering growth and creating jobs without significantly accelerating Europe’s performance on digital advancement. Digital technologies and the Internet contributed to over 20% of economic growth in the world’s most advanced economies in the period 2004-2009, and looking forward, the digital sector is expected to grow seven times faster than overall European Union gross domestic product in coming years.”

The third point stated that significant investments in the European digital infrastructure are needed to facilitate the digital contribution to economic growth. It states that “[m]odest estimates put the price tag at up to €200 billion to meet the 2020 digital broadband targets.” The Digital Champions put a call for action on the European Commission to realize these investments.

Finally, the Digital Champions advocate for a Startup Manifesto for digital entrepreneurship to successfully create jobs. In 2013, Europe accounted for 1.8 million jobs and this number will grow to 4.8 million by 2018 as well as triple the revenues from €17.5 billion in 2013 to €63 billion in 2018.

Ecommerce Europe strongly supports the call for a Digital President for Europe as it boosts the European economic recovery and it provides jobs. Our election page is dedicated to the latest developments in the European Parliamentary elections and on twitter we have a special hash-tag #Vote4Digital.

Here you find the open letter to the Spitzenkandidaten (Lead Contenders) for
President of the European Commission.

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