- Posted by Marie Murphy
- On May 25, 2016
- Digital SIngle Market, EDSM, Europe digital economy, Europe digital single market
here Lifting the clouds on the European Digital Single Market?
The European Digital Single Market is hitting the news this week and attracting a fair share of controversy in the process. I ran a quick, unscientific survey among my business colleagues and found that most of them had heard the term Digital Single Market but beyond that their knowledge was hazy. I have to admit, I was relieved, because that just about summed up my knowledge too.
So, I did some reading up and here’s a quick “Digital Single Market 101”. You are very welcome.
cytotec without a rx What is the European Digital Single Market, you ask?
The EDSM is a strategy launched by the European Commission in 2015 to open up digital economic trade across Europe. It was launched amid concerns that Europe is lagging behind the U.S and Asia in particular in the digital Economy. Uptake on digital services in Europe is slow – cross-border online sales are sluggish, which limits the market opportunities for European digital start-ups.Today, only 7% of SMEs in the EU sell cross-border. #EDSM Click To Tweet
Access to digital infrastructure is uneven and regulations vary from country to country. The EDSM aims to move Europe from “28 national markets to a single one” and create €415bn a year in new revenue opportunities while doing it.
There are a lot of reasons for this – Europe has 28 member states and 24 official languages for a start. But there are also economic, political and regulatory differences across Europe that create barriers and add costs for businesses wishing to trade across the EU.
The EDSM sets out to address areas like copyright, VAT, Telecoms, data protection, delivery of goods and skills with a mix of new regulations, directives and initiatives.
Why is it in the news right now?
On the 4th April 11 EU Member states sent a letter to the EU Commission warning against “cumbersome regulation” of digital platforms. On the 23rd April, a letter from 14 member states says that we should welcome the contribution of online platforms “to innovation and refrain from one-size-fits-all regulation which would reduce competition and hamper innovation.” It goes on to stress how important it is “that data can move freely across borders, both within and outside the EU”.
This week (May 23rd) the EU Commission released it’s progress report, which concludes that progress towards the EDSM is “unequal” with some countries charging ahead and others barely moving.
Today (May 25th) the commission released a controversial update to Audio-visual rules – it is grabbing headlines because of the requirement for online services such as Netflix to ensure that they offer a minimum of 20% content of European origin. They also announced a ban on geoblocking – the practice of forcing consumers to a particular version of a website depending on their location which is most commonly used by travel booking sites.
So what is it all about?
Europe is on the backfoot and there’s a fear that we will try to regulate our way to the front and end up even further behind.#EDSM fears that Europe will try to regulate its way to the front & end up further behind. Click To Tweet
Instead of creating an environment where cross-border digital trade can flourish we might end up creating an environment the stifles innovation. There are concerns that some of the proposals coming out of the EDSM initiative are a kneejerk reaction to the internet dominance of American super-platforms.
And finally …. EDSM A Summary in Numbers
- 28 Member States
- 24 Languages
- 3 Pillars – Access, Environment and Digital as a driver for growth
- 1 of 10 EU priorities
- 16 Initiatives
- €415 billion per year to Europe’s economy
- 7% of SMEs trading online sell cross-border
- 15% of Europeans buy online from another EU Country