In this post (the last in this series), we focus on the initiatives introduced under the third pillar of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy: Maximising the growth potential of the European Digital Economy
The third pillar is built around the recognition of the pervasive nature of digital technology, and that soon all industry sectors will be digitised to some extent. The Commission is thus concerned by the need for Europe to maintain its competitiveness in this area, and so under the third pillar it is seeking to optimise Europe’s growth potential in the digital economy.
The Commission has set out 3 initiatives to achieve this:
Free flow of data
- Introduce a ‘European free flow of data initiative‘ to promote the free movement of data in the EU, and launch a European Cloud initiative covering certification of cloud services, the switching of cloud service providers and a “research cloud”.
Better interoperability and standardisation
- Adopt a Priority ICT Standards Plan, aimed at ensuring that standardisation output keeps pace with technological change in areas deemed critical to the Digital Single Market including areas such as health (telemedicine, m-health), transport (travel planning, e-freight), environment and energy. The Commission also plans to extend the European Interoperability Framework.
An inclusive e-society
- Introduce a new e-Government Action Plan which will include making the interconnection of business registers a reality by 2017; launching an initiative to pilot the ‘Once-Only’ principle, working towards a ‘Single Digital Gateway’ for e-government by integrating European and national online portals; and accelerating Member States’ transition towards full e-procurement and interoperable e-signatures.
As mentioned in previous posts, the Commission has published a roadmap for these initiatives to take place over the next 2 years. According to this roadmap, the Pillar 3 initiatives which will be progressed first will be the ones to improve interoperability and standardisation. These are scheduled to launch before the end of 2015.