Viewpoint on the Digital Single Market Strategy
FFTelecoms welcomes the intense and collaborative work of the College of Commissioners on the future Digital Single Market Strategy. It shares the areas on which the Commission will work and especially the focus on shaping the environment for digital networks and services to flourish. Telecommunication networks are a key factor for delivering the European ambitions. It also welcomes the focus on creating a European Digital Economy and Society with long term growth potential.
In order to add feed for thought in terms of measures needed to achieve a truly digital Europe, FFTelecoms published in February a policy paper for the Digital Single Market Strategy. Some of its key elements are outlined below.
The global digital ecosystem is growing twice as fast as the overall economy. Yet, this “digital Eldorado” has largely slipped out of European hands. Europe is no digital champion. But the new Commission can change it.
Therefore, FFTelecoms called for a renewed approach on the digital single market based principally on the following elements:
- A fair regulatory environment linked to the service provided and no longer based on the service provider, in order to match with the new reality of the digital players and encourage investment in infrastructure. Indeed, the so-called OTTs (Over-the-top players) offer services similar to the telecom operators’ whilst not being subject to the same regulatory constraints.
FFTelecoms supports the inclusive approach advocated by the Commission and calls for a shift from a regulatory framework focused on the telecom sector to an overall digital strategy. It welcomes the announcement by the Commission of a review of the current telecoms rules to make them fit for new challenges, in particular relating to consumer uses and new players in the field.
- A fair tax environment which will tackle promptly the issue of tax optimization strategies by non-European digital actors and will ensure a system where the taxation is due in the country of consumption.
FFTelecoms supports the first move of the European Commission and calls for an ambitious action plan in June to combat tax evasion and tax fraud, as a key issue of the digital strategy to be coped with.
- A safe digital environment which will ensure the highest standards in terms of security, data protection and cybersecurity applying to all players.
FFTelecoms supports the idea of a European label for secure data storage and the update of objectives in order to apply the same rules to all the players in the digital value chain.
- An innovation-friendly environment to accompany the Telecom operators in their long-lasting investments in broadband coverage, quality networks, and access to new technologies.
FFTelecoms warmly welcome the Investment package and calls for a new thinking in terms of the evaluation of cooperative practices to enhance European digital synergies among many players, in the full respect of the greatest interoperability. It calls upon presenting a Smart Europe plan to boost big data, connecting devices and security.
The European Union is at a crossroad of the digital revolution. With sound policies and a new approach based on the new reality of this sector, Europe has great skills to fully benefit from digital innovations.
Jean-Marie Danjou, Director-General Delegate
+33 1 47 27 72 78 firstname.lastname@example.org