Putting digital business back at the top of Europe's agenda

20 June 2013 Author: EIFonline

On 17 June EIF offered its members an opportunity to meet representatives of the ‘Digital Business First’, a campaign recently launched in the presence of VP Neelie Kroes in London, urging the UK national government to provide the policy, operational framework and funding to create a national network of broadband and mobile communication coverage.

This meeting aimed to review the actions that have been taken to address UK’s digital issues which have a European relevance, and review the actions undertaken to promote the campaign. 

The gathering was hosted by James Elles MEP and EIF co-founder. In the opening remarks he introduced the need for the fast broadband and mobile connectivity in Europe and the UK and encouraged to create a European level digital business first initiative.

Alex Pratt, Chairman of Buckinghamshire Business First and Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Neil Gibson, Strategic Director at Buckinghamshire County Council, and Warren Ralls from Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP met EIF members to introduce the Digital Business First campaign.  They regretted the fact that digital business is not a priority on the political agenda in this internet age and that growing investments in infrastructures do not include digital infrastructure. This European level approach is making the continent lag behind other parts of the world. Therefore Digital Business First aims to create bottom-up pressure from the business community in the UK and in Europe to move the investment and development of digital infrastructure higher up on Europe’s priority list. With more focus on the digital infrastructure Europe could be more competitive by creating more jobs and economic growth.   

After the exchange of views with EIF members, Digital Business First representatives also met up with European Commission officials.

Earlier this year EIF partnered with Digital Policy Alliance (DPA) on the launch event of the ‘Digital Business First’ campaign and the presentation of the Digital Business First background document ‘High-speed Broadband for all of Britain: The infrastructure priority for jobs and growth’. The event in London was attended by Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes.

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