The digital priorities of the Spanish presidency

25 January 2010 Author: EIFonline

Fransico Ros Perán, the Spanish Secretary of State responsible for Telecommunications and Information Society, was the special guest at the EIF dinner debate on Monday evening 25 January.  He is responsible for the Digital priorities of the Spanish Presidency until the end of June and shared his views with the audience, followed by a lively discussion between the Presidency and EIF members.

Mr. Ros Perán gave an overview of what the Presidency hopes to achieve in the coming months. He emphasized that the next five years will be crucial to put in place a new digital strategy for Europe to replace i2010.  New models are going to be required in the political sector and the social sector, and Europe must understand this or it will lose opportunities, he said. The cornerstone of these new models is to realize that ICTs are indispensable to sustainability and efficiency for Europe's success.

Mr. Ros Perán believes that Europe is losing ground in the ICT area. For instance, in telecoms equipment manufacturing, European companies have little presence within the ICT businesses of the new era (limited presence on search engines, digital content platforms, design and production, digital content for multimedia, high definition, video games etc.). At the same time, Europe does not educate a high enough number of experts that will be needed for the ICT sector and related industries in the near future. The people we do educate often leave Europe for other regions of the world to find more interesting work than what they can find at home in Europe.

Europe only has a small window in time left to gain ground in these areas, and Mr. Ros Perán pointed out that all regions in the world are already very proactive in these areas, making this small window a top priority. Europe has recently started doing the same as can be seen in the Digital Agenda of Mr. Barroso, and the Presidency aims to work closely together with all those involved. Spain aims to do the following in the next months:

  • Work with the industry on the basis of the common views presented by the industry in a common document (as was recently published)
  • Creating an action plan based on the main priorities
  • A strategic plan 2010-2015; a plan that should address all the issues at hand (from cloud computing and education, to spectrum issues and many others.)
  • Facilitating investments on infrastructure and platforms by European companies to avoid a digital divide.
  • Create a European charter of user rights. The Internet users have to feel safe and therefore trust and security (cyber security) and IPR are elements that need to be addressed beyond the national level.
  • Focus on Digital content and services and use the opportunity given by the diversity of Europe.
  • Last but not least: a single digital market

Spain is -as we speak- creating proposals together with stakeholders and all governments. At the same time the Spanish Presidency is discussing several of the issues, like governance, spectrum, broadband, universal access and net neutrality in an Atlantic context.

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