What does this cover?
In early May 2015 the EC revealed its "Communication on a Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe", a document setting out a number of proposed activities aimed at the development and advancement of new digital networks as well as the promotion of the digital economy within the EU.
The European Economic and Social Committee (the EESC) issued their opinion on the strategy on 24 February 2016. Its conclusions and recommendations include:
- endorsement of the EC's "pledge to launch a public consultation for each of its future actions relating to the digital single market";
- developing "multidisciplinary research poles and European synergies in the European Research Area, in spheres such as cloud computing, nano-electronics, the storage and processing of big data, appliances that can be consulted or controlled remotely (connected objects) and smart services";
- the necessity to "take into account not only potential benefits but also the many risks and challenges, particularly in the fields of security, work organisation and social security";
- a review of the EESC's envisaged conflict between risks to personal data privacy through the use of 'big data' versus the need for 'big data' analysis for necessary causes such as medical purposes.
Interestingly, the EESC addresses an apparent "Skills gap" present "at every age and in every region. The Committee believes that only a structured and controlled programme in each Member State can ensure that few, if any, citizens are excluded from the information society and the digital single market". To address this concern, the EESC proposes a framed plan from primary school to retirement to disability provision which seeks to ensure that all individuals are equipped to work and live and benefit from the "information society".
To view the EESC's opinion, please click here.
What action could be taken to manage risks that may arise from this development?
Organisations should watch out for future developments to the regulatory framework further to the EC's digital strategy and the EESC's opinion.