Call on EU President Barroso to Recognise Internet and Digital Economy as Driver of Economic Growth

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EuroISPA, Cable Europe, ECTA, ETNO, and GSMA, have written to President Barroso in relation to the forthcoming Annual Growth Survey 2013 and provided him with our joint statement.

The signatories call on him to recognise the Digital Economy and our industry as THE main driver for European economic recovery by referencing it in the Annual Growth Survey. We firmly believe that the Digital Economy should be a central element of the Annual Growth Survey, to underline Europe’s confidence in the potential for innovation, employment and growth driven by technology adoption.

Below the full text of the Joint Industry Statement

 

JOINT INDUSTRY STATEMENT

on the European Commission’s Annual Growth Survey and the Importance of the Digital Economy for Growth

 

The signatories of this statement are organisations representing the whole European electronic communications industry: fixed and mobile telecoms operators, Internet Service Providers and cable companies, national and pan-European players. Our industries provide broadband networks, access, hosting and content services to

European consumers, helping to create a platform for strong economic growth via eCommerce and remote working, as well as new communication, e-health and eGovernment services. Our industry is committed to the continued delivery of sustainable economic and social benefits achievable through a Digital Single Market.

Recent discussions on the return to a competitive Europe have highlighted areas of the economy that are still growing despite the deep financial crisis. The EU Internet economy contributed €475 billion to the overall economy in 2010, representing 3.8 percent of GDP, and is projected to rise to €871 billion by 2016 (“The $4.2 Trillion Opportunity – The Internet Economy in the G-20”, The Boston Consulting Group, pag.51).

Even in mature countries, the Internet has accounted for 10 percent of GDP growth over the past 15 years. (“Internet Matters : The Net’s sweeping impact on growth, jobs, and prosperity”, The McKenzie Global Institute, pag. 2)

There has been a greater acknowledgement of the role of the Digital Economy as a key driver for growth and the European Council Conclusions of June 29th (http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/131388.pdf), clearly underlined this fact.

Despite these recent discussions and acknowledgements, the European Commission has over recent years failed to reference the Internet, the driving force behind the Digital Economy, in its Annual Growth Strategy. We believe this to be a critical oversight. The signatories of this statement firmly believe that the Digital

Economy should be a central element of the Annual Growth Survey, to underline Europe’s confidence in the potential for innovation, employment and growth driven by technology adoption. We therefore call on the European Commission to support the Digital Economy and our industry as THE main driver for European economic recovery by referencing it in the Annual Growth Strategy.

 

Signatories of the Joint Industry Statement:

Cable Europe www.cable-europe.eu the European Cable Communications Association, is based in Brussels and groups all the leading European cable TV operators and their national trade associations throughout Europe. The aim of Cable Europe is to promote and defend the industry’s policies and business interests at European and international level. The European cable TV industry provides digital TV, broadband Internet and telephony services to more than 70 million customers.

Contact: Gilone d’Udekem, Director Regulatory Affairs gilone.dudekem@cableeurope.eu

ECTA – the European Competitive Telecommunications Association – www.ectaportal.com is the pan-European pro-competitive trade association that represents more than 100 of the leading challenger telecoms operators across Europe. For over a decade, ECTA has been supporting the regulatory and commercial interests of telecoms operators, ISPs & equipment manufacturers in pursuit of a fair regulatory environment that allows all electronic communications providers to compete on level terms. ECTA members have been the leading innovators in Internet services, broadband, business communications, entertainment and mobile.

Contact: Federico Poggi, Senior Manager Public Affairs fpoggi@ectaportal.com

ETNO – the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association – www.etno.eu is the voice of the European telecommunications network operators with over a decade of experience in shaping EU telecoms policy. The association represents 41 companies located in 35 European countries. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than 250 billion Euros and employ over one million people across Europe.

Contact: Caroline Greer, Regulatory Affairs Manager greer@etno.be

EuroISPAwww.euroispa.org – is the world’s largest association of Internet Services Providers (ISPs) representing the interests of more than 1800 ISPs across the EU and the EFTA countries. EuroISPA is a major voice of the Internet industry on information society subjects such as cybercrime, data protection, eCommerce regulation, EU telecommunications law and safe use of the Internet.

Contact: Andrea D’Incecco, Head of Policy andrea@euroispa.org

GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations.

The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry. In the European

Union the GSMA represents over 100 operators providing more than 600 million subscriber connections across the region. For more information on GSMA, please visit: Mobile World Live, the new online portal for the mobile communications industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com, GSMA corporate website at www.gsmworld.com, GSMA Europe www.gsmeurope.org

Contact: Martin Whitehead, Director, GSMA Europe MWhitehead@gsm.org