issues are now firmly on the global political agenda, e.g. at the G-7 ICT
meeting in Japan in April 2016 and recent OECD meeting as well as in the G-20
formation. These are clear signs of digital/ICT socio-economic importance and
political relevance: the ICT-digital industry is becoming the fastest growing
sector in the world.
whole world is going online; however, as the World Bank reminded in its Digital
Dividends Report a few months ago, not everybody and not everywhere is up to
the challenges. There are many people in the world who are losing out on these
new opportunities simply because they do not have access to digital
4 billion people or 60% of the world’s population, still lack access to the
internet. With more than half the world being offline, the global connectivity
is clearly a long way to go…
Japan, the G-7 ministers agreed on April 2016 a plan for 1.5 billion more
people to have internet access by 2020. It is a good start towards getting rid
of digital divides and exclusion around the world.
through internet multibillion-dollar companies are created in “no time” and
become household names within one to three years.
2016, the global internet traffic is due to exceed one zeta-byte for the first
time; this vast amount of data helps countries to tackle epidemics, congestion
and pollution. Access to broadband presently can have a greater effect on
nations’ GDP than access to ports and railways.
effect on societies and economies
above-mentioned long-term shifts in digital/ICT trends affect all parts of
modern societies and economies. Explosive growth in the sharing- and
app-economies, in the global rise of online platforms and e-commerce are just a
few examples. The potential of the digital economy to create economic growth,
employment and innovation are definitely huge… Digital should be at the core of
political priorities at all levels of government: international, national,
regional and local.
this is more than simply having an internet connection: it is about making
people know how to use ICT technology, and learn from it. For full social and
economic inclusion, having adequate digital skills is as important as being
able to access technology.
is important for the governments to see that digital skills are strongly
recognised as basic skills, along with literacy and numeracy.
e.g. “EU Digital agenda requires additional training and new skills”, in
digital technology and the internet do not recognise borders, some issues need
global solutions. National or regional interests should not get in the way of
overarching objectives: simplifying rules or creating predictable and stable
market conditions for businesses, investors and consumers. Open international
cooperation and discussions are vital in areas such as net neutrality, the open
internet, data protection, privacy and cybersecurity, as well as internet
governance. These issues affect everyday’s life in the whole of the world's
meeting on digital agenda is important to reveal broader policy objectives in
the context of digitalization.
e.g. “Digital world: mobile technologies dominate communications”.
economy is global and borderless by its nature; at the G-7 ICT meeting in Japan
the Charter for the Digitally Connected World has been adopted.
particularly relevant is the following extract from the Charter:
expect worldwide proliferation of ICT infrastructure and services to enable
seamless global connectivity among people and things anytime and anywhere that
enhances our quality of life."
there are globally the same challenges: to guarantee the secure and free flow
of data, develop technical standards, and ensure interoperability.
community is looking forward to cooperation in global digital economy which
fulfils its enormous potential for enhancing fairness and social inclusion as
well as to bring collective long-term prosperity.
response to these challenges is within building a Digital Single Market. The EU
takes a coherent approach across different sectors, with all EU policies
supporting digitalisation as a vehicle for innovation and sustainable growth.
there is major problem to tackle: the splintered nature of EU digital markets
into 28 different national regimes. This goes against the concept of a digital
and data-driven economy, where rapid growth and cross-border data flows are
Commission intends to strengthen Europe's digital competitiveness, boost
digital startups, small and medium-sized enterprises and European industry.
task is to use digitalisation as an instrument to assist consumers to get more
out of the digital agenda by improving their online access and choice of
ultimate idea is to remove barriers to the Digital Single Market as a way to
open up its opportunities for all people and businesses, both in Europe and