February 1, 2012
Since my last post a few days ago (The Digital Policy Landscape Seems To Be Moving) the European Council has convened and pushed European digital policy even further forwards.
With the hoo-ha going on in advance about whether Greece should have some form of European fiscal Tzar overseeing their spending habits, your author was not hopeful about the chances our leaders may have had to speak about the other side of the economic crisis coin – competitiveness, employment and growth. Happily, their communique suggests otherwise.
If you whizz down to page four of the document, you will find paragraphs pushing forward aims for the Digital Single Market, e-commerce, e-signatures and Europe’s copyright regime. While there has been some progress of late on a couple of these areas, the copyright system improvements seem to be stuck in the long grass of lobbying.
Please don’t misunderstand, a statement made at a summit is often no more or less than a “wish list” of hoped for outcomes, and if you read the full statement you might start to get that feeling here. However, the “Innovation” summit was postponed a couple of times as the emergencies of the euro took precedent, so this is long overdue.
It has been clear to many for quite some time that the European economy would need something akin to a complete overhaul if the jobs and growth that are needed to aided recovery are to appear. While a statement at a summit is only a statement at a summit, it is hopefully the start of real pressure from on high about these most pressing issues.
The question is whether the statement of intent made this week, combined with the actions being taken by Commissioners Kroes and Reding will be enough of a shove to achieve real progress. Fingers crossed…financialguy