The S&D Group today outlined its vision of how to create an inclusive and progressive Digital Union. In a new policy paper, the group welcomes the Commission's proposals for a Digital Single Market but goes further and argues for the creation of a digital Europe that benefits all its citizens.
The paper focuses on four areas: adapting Europe's industrial base, the creation of new high-quality digital jobs, investment in infrastructure, e-government and training, and bringing EU law into the digital age.
Speaking on the adoption of the policy paper, S&D President Gianni Pittella said:
"From healthcare to government, the on-going digital revolution is radically altering the way we do almost everything. We need to ensure that these changes benefit all citizens and reflect the fundamental values that we take for granted in Europe. In order to achieve this we need an integrated strategy with clear legislative recommendations and financial ways and means. Our vision is to create a digital environment where Europe can lead the world, where businesses can operate across borders and where the rights of consumers and citizens are protected. To do this a digital market or agenda is not enough - we need a fully-fledged Digital Union."
S&D vice-president and chair of the working group on the Digital Agenda Jörg Leichtfried stated:
"The completion of the Digital Single Market can bring huge benefits to Europe. It will give consumers greater protection and choice and will allow European businesses to grow and compete with their global rivals. We are already seeing the creation of thousands of sustainable, high-quality jobs and we are convinced that this will continue with further technological change. However we also need to ensure that no European is left behind. We are calling for more investment to ensure everyone can access high-speed affordable internet, reform of European copyright laws to strengthen creators' rights, and an assessment from the Commission into the effect of the digital economy on the labour market. The time has come for action - we now need to see concrete proposals to create a prosperous and progressive digital Europe that benefits all."