02 Jul 2018

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes Austrian Presidency’s focus on securing prosperity and competitiveness in Europe through digitalisation

DIGITALEUROPE stands ready to support and work closely with the Austrian Presidency to deliver on a more competitive, prosperous, stronger and safer Europe.

“We look forward to working with the Austrian Presidency and we strongly welcome that one of their top priorities is about securing prosperity and competitiveness in Europe through digitalisation. Digitisation and smart automation are expected to contribute as much as 14% to global GDP gains by 2030, and Europe cannot afford to lag behind in the global race”, said Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE.

To enable digitalisation, European leaders must focus on three Cs: build a long-awaited non- fragmented Common market, ease access to Capital and leverage the skills and Competencies of our youth and the workforce. Under the Austrian Presidency’s motto “A Europe that protects”, it isobvious that Cybersecurity has become the fourth C. We stand ready to provide the Austrians with the necessary industry know-how and inputs to work in that direction and to help progress on all EU legislative files being currently reviewed by the co-legislators”, concluded Bonefeld-Dahl.

On a selection of relevant files being processed under the Austrian Presidency, DIGITALEUROPE encourages the following developments:

Cybersecurity

For the Cybersecurity Act, DIGITALEUROPE urges more reliance on proven solutions such as self- declaration of conformity as well as alignment with global standards and existing international mutual recognition agreements. Moreover, keeping certification schemes voluntary and avoiding national mandates will be key to ensure the Act promotes harmonisation in the single market.

Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF)

When it comes to the forthcoming MFF negotiations (in particular the Digital Europe programme, the Connecting European Facility Instruments and the Horizon Europe research framework), DIGITALEUROPE considers the proposals from the Commission as positive signals and we now urge the Council and the European Parliament, to safeguard or even to increase the proposed budgets.

Taxation

For the taxation of the digital economy, DIGITALEUROPE urges national leaders to consider a common OECD path instead of pushing an agenda that lacks common agreement among EU countries and will therefore lead to further fragmentation on the key theme of economic collaboration in Europe.

5G & Gigabit Society

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the Presidency’s focus on implementing the EU’s 5G and Gigabit Societyobjectives. Next-generation telecoms infrastructure lies at the foundation of the whole Digital Single Market. Following the adoption of the Electronic Communications Code, all eyes must be on practical implementation with all available instruments (including the MFF) to facilitate deployment.

Copyright

DIGITALEUROPE looks with caution at the developments of the negotiations on the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive. A balanced approach is needed to ensure investment in the creative and technology sectors, while working towards a more harmonised and innovation-friendly framework. DIGITALEUROPE encourages Member States to build a dialogue and exchange best practices to remedy the fragmented private copying levy landscape.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The European Union is uniquely positioned to take a leading role towards a human-centric approach for AI policy. Stakeholder dialogue should be the basis to find a common understanding on how to leverage sustainable development and ethical use of AI. This will build trust, stimulate innovation and create the right framework for investment, research and uptake of AI across Europe.

e-Privacy

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the Austrian Presidency’s focus on achieving balance between privacyprotection and innovation. This is exactly what is needed for this important file, which will have a broad impact on how new technologies can benefit society across industries. We urge the Presidency to continue working towards a text that fully reflects the GDPR’s risk-based approach.

Sustainability

DIGITALEUROPE encourages the Austrian Presidency to continue the inclusion and close cooperation with industry on the circular economy and eco-innovative initiatives. DIGITALEUROPE will contribute proactively to these ongoing discussions by identifying the right tools and necessary measures to promote a healthy environment, ensure efficient use of resources, and support sustainable growth.

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