On Friday last week (6th September) your author moderated two panel discussions at an EU event in Floriana, Malta. It was an EESC Going Local event in partnership with DG Connect.
The first panel discussion began with a few words and some Q&A with the Director General of DG Connect (responsible for the Digital Agenda), Robert Madelin. Here are my (very) brief notes.
- Europe needs more start-ups and once they are growing and established we need them to stay in Europe.
- Southern Europe still needs improved connectivity which means “more big, fat pipes”.
- Events of recent weeks show just how vital trust and security are to the full functioning of the web.
- If the internet is going to genuinely benefit everyone then improved inclusion, skills and education are vital for Europe.
- Europe needs better SME benchmark information. Considering the number of small companies there are and the impact they have on employment and the economy, we need to understand them better. According to a BCG report, the more web based firms there are in an economy, the faster growth will be.
- Not enough SMEs are online. While this is a European problem, it needs local attention. Sitting down with a small business owner and helping him or her build a website, fix problems and get started with online customer service can only really happen at a local level.
- Please visit and sign up to startupmanifesto.eu.