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    Brussels, 1.6.2005

    COM(2005) 229 final




    “i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment”

    {SEC(2005) 717}

    EN EN




    “i2010 A European Information Society for growth and employment”

    (Text with EEA relevance)


    1. Introduction .............................................................................................................. 3 2. A single European information space ........................................................................ 4

    3. Innovation and investment in research ...................................................................... 6

    4. Inclusion, better public services and quality of life .................................................... 9

    5. Conclusion: i2010 within the new Lisbon governance cycle .................................... 11

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    In launching the partnership for growth and jobs as a new start for the Lisbon strategy,

    the 2005 Spring European Council called knowledge and innovation the engines of

    sustainable growth and stated that it is essential to build a fully inclusive information

    society, based on the widespread use of information and communication technologies

    (ICT) in public services, SMEs and households.

    Information and communication technologies are a powerful driver of growth and

    employment. A quarter of EU GDP growth and 40% of productivity growth are due to

    ICT. Differences in economic performances between industrialised countries are largely

    explained by the level of ICT investment, research, and use, and by the competitiveness 1of information society and media industries. ICT services, skills, media and content are a growing part of the economy and society.

    In recent years, ICT developments have gained pace to arrive at the threshold of

    massive growth in information society and media, made possible by widespread fast

    communications, connecting multiple devices. Traditional content (such as films, video,

    music) is now available in digital formats, and new services that are „born digital‟, such

    as interactive software, are emerging. The digital convergence of information society and media services, networks and devices is finally becoming an everyday reality: ICT will become smarter, smaller, safer, faster, always connected and easier to use, with

    content moving to three-dimensional multimedia formats.

    Proactive policies are needed to respond to the fundamental changes in technology.

    Digital convergence requires policy convergence and a willingness to adapt regulatory frameworks where needed so they are consistent with the emerging digital economy.

    The Commission proposes a new strategic framework, i2010 European

    Information Society 2010, laying out broad policy orientations. It promotes an open

    and competitive digital economy and emphasises ICT as a driver of inclusion and

    quality of life. A key element of the renewed Lisbon partnership for growth and jobs,

    i2010 will build towards an integrated approach to information society and audio-

    visual media policies in the EU.

    Drawing on a comprehensive analysis of information society challenges and drawing on 2wide stakeholder consultation on previous initiatives and instruments, the Commission

    proposes three priorities for Europe‟s information society and media policies:

     1 The services of the information society and media industries were already described in the 1998

    Green Paper on convergence of the telecommunications, media and information technology

    sectors and the implications for regulation towards an information society approach - COM(97)

    623 - and, taking into account new developments, in the 2003 Communication on the Future of

    European Regulatory Audiovisual Policy - COM(2003) 784. These services reflect the

    convergence now taking place between electronic communications services, information society

    services and broadcasting services and the emergence of new content services resulting

    therefrom. 2 I.e. the eEurope initiatives and the communication on the future of European audiovisual

    regulatory policy - COM(2003) 784.

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i) the completion of a Single European Information Space which promotes an

    open and competitive internal market for information society and media;

    ii) strengthening Innovation and Investment in ICT research to promote growth

    and more and better jobs;

    iii) achieving an Inclusive European Information Society that promotes growth

    and jobs in a manner that is consistent with sustainable development and that

    prioritises better public services and quality of life.

    The following sections outline the objectives of i2010 and the key activities, which are

    fully integrated and consistent with the new Lisbon governance cycle.

    2. A SINGLE EUROPEAN INFORMATION SPACE The information society is at a turning point: recent technological progress has been

    huge and ICT are entering a phase of mass deployment which may fundamentally

    change the way in which we work, live and interact. Rich media content is becoming

    available in new, diverse formats and can be delivered independent of location or time,

    personalised to individual citizens preferences or requirements. In technical terms,

    communication networks, media, content, services and devices are undergoing digital

    convergence. Improvements in networks, combined with new compression techniques,

    create new and faster distribution channels and trigger new content formats and services

    (e.g. Voice over IP, Web TV, on-line music).

    New content creation, services and business models are driving growth and jobs. For

    example, Western European online content markets are expected to triple by 2008 (with 3the consumer part growing tenfold). These developments are expected to multiply across the sector, today already accounting for 8% of EU GDP. However, the impact of

    digital convergence will be felt globally and will lead to increased worldwide

    competition. If Europe is to benefit fully from its economic potential, a proactive

    policy approach is needed to stimulate favourable market developments and the

    promotion of the knowledge society (e.g. lifelong learning, creativity and innovation),

    consumer protection and a healthy and safe European information society.

    The creation of a Single European Information Space needs to address at the outset four

    main challenges posed by digital convergence:

    ? speed: faster broadband in Europe services to deliver rich content such as high

    definition video;

    ? rich content: increased legal and economic certainty to encourage new services and

    on-line content;

    ? interoperability: enhancing devices and platforms that “talk to one another” and services that are portable from platform to platform;

     3 European Information Technology Observatory (EITO) 2005.

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? security: making internet safer from fraudsters, harmful content and technology

    failures to increase trust amongst investors and consumers.

    Objective 1: A Single European Information Space offering affordable and secure

    high bandwidth communications, rich and diverse content and digital services.

    Digital convergence calls for a consistent system of rules for information society and

    media. In this area, the internal market is governed by a wide set of rules covering e.g.

    audiovisual media, digital television, on-line trading, intellectual property rights and

    support measures for the creation and circulation of European content. Some regulatory

    elements (e.g. the e-Commerce directive) are recent and reflect digital convergence.

    Others, notably the Television without Frontiers Directive are due for review. The

    Commission undertakes to examine the rules affecting the digital economy to make

    their interplay more coherent and oriented to economic and technological realities.

    Concretely the Commission will:

    ? by end 2005, propose a revision of the Television without Frontiers directive to modernise the rules on audiovisual media services;

    ? by 2007, the Commission will have analysed the community acquis affecting

    information society and media services and will bring forward proposals for change

    where necessary.

    Complementary policies will promote fast and efficient implementation of the

    updated frameworks and support will continue for the creation and circulation of 4European content and knowledge.

    Regulation of electronic communications has been transformed in the last decade. The

    European electronic communications regulatory framework, in force since 2003, is an

    example of best practice. Where it has been implemented consistently and effectively it

    has opened up competition, encouraging lower prices and investment. Regulation must

    keep pace with technological and market developments. Therefore, in the 2006 review

    of the framework, the Commission will thoroughly examine its principles and mode of

    implementation, especially where bottlenecks are delaying the provision of faster, more innovative and competitive broadband services.

    5New high speed wireless applications are driving demand for radio spectrum. Policy

    aims to facilitate spectrum access across the EU through market mechanisms. This will

    be assisted by the planned switching off of analogue terrestrial television by 2012. The

    Commission will consolidate its proposals by defining a strategy for efficient spectrum management in 2005 to be implemented in the 2006 review of the electronic

    communications framework.

    Digital convergence requires devices, platforms and services to interoperate. The

    Commission intends to use all its instruments to foster technologies that communicate,

    through research, promotion of open standards, support for stakeholder dialogue and,

     4 With MEDIA, the eLearning and the eContent programme and their successors. 5 E.g. broadband mobile, wireless local and wide area networks (WiFI & WiMax) and digital TV.

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where needed, mandatory instruments. Such a policy mix was the foundation of

    Europe‟s mobile telephony success. Under i2010, the Commission will also seek to

    establish a comprehensive approach for effective and interoperable digital rights


    Trustworthy, secure and reliable ICT are crucial for a wide take up of converging

    digital services. During 2006 the Commission will propose a Strategy for a Secure Information Society to combine and update the instruments available, including raising

    awareness of the need for self-protection, vigilance and monitoring of threats, rapid and

    effective response to attacks and system failures. Support will be given to targeted

    research to „design-in‟ security and to deployment measures that test solutions for key

    issues such as identity management. Revision of regulation will be considered where

    necessary, for example in protection of privacy, electronic signature or discouraging

    illegal and harmful content.

    In summary, the i2010 agenda on the Single European Information Space will

    accelerate the economic pay-off from digital convergence by the following measures:

    Review the electronic communications regulatory framework (2006), including defining an

    efficient spectrum management strategy (2005)

    Create a consistent internal market framework for information society and media services by

    ? modernising the legal framework for audio-visual services, starting with a Commission

    proposal in 2005 for revising the Television Without Frontiers Directive

    ? analysing and making any necessary adaptations to the community acquis affecting

    information society and media services (2007)

    ? actively promote fast and efficient implementation of the existing and updated acquis

    governing the information society and media services

    Continued support for the creation and circulation of European content Define and implement a strategy for a secure European Information Society (2006) Identify and promote targeted actions on interoperability, particularly digital rights

    management (2006/2007)


    ICT make a crucial contribution to growth and jobs in Europe. The ICT sector is a

    major contributor to the economy, while the adoption and skilful application of ICT is

    one of the largest contributors to productivity and growth throughout the economy,

    leading to business innovation in key sectors.

    Research and innovation: Europe accounts for around one third of global ICT sales,

    which are growing at 5% per year, with double digit growth in emerging markets such

    as India and China. Europe is a global leader in electronic communications, accounting 6for 40 to 50% of the revenues of the world‟s largest players. Europe is also strong in sectors such as nano-electronics, micro-systems and embedded systems.

     6 OECD Information Technology Outlook 2004.

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Investment in research and innovation is crucial for the ICT sector to continue

    delivering jobs and growth in the short and long term. However, as Table 1 shows,

    Europe is seriously under investing in ICT.

    7Table 1 - Investment in ICT Research (2002) Private sector investments 23 B? 83 B? 40 B? Public sector investments 8 B? 20 B? 11 B? Inhabitants 383 m 296 m 127 m Investments / inhabitant 80 ? 350? 400?. ICT R&D as % Total R&D 18% 34% 35% Source: IDATE (for EU-15); OECD

    Strategic ICT research is needed to assure Europe‟s leadership in areas where it has recognised strengths (e.g. nanoelectronics, embedded systems, communications) and in

    emerging areas (e.g. web-services, cognitive systems). Targeted research is needed on

    bottlenecks such as integrated solutions, ease of use and security. This also supports

    Europe‟s international competitiveness in crucial areas such as standards and R&D

    location decisions. Europe needs higher ICT research investment to reach the Barcelona

    target of 3% of GDP on R&D.

    Deployment and adoption of ICT: Research alone is not enough. The benefits of ICT

    come from embedding them into products and services and the adoption of new

    business models, organisational change and skills. Businesses are getting productivity

    gains from ICT but still face a lack of interoperability, reliability and security;

    difficulties to reorganise and integrate ICT into the workplace and high cost of support.

    SMEs in particular have difficulties to adopt ICT.

    A new era of „e-business solutions‟ is coming, based on integrated ICT solutions,

    secure web-services and „collaboration tools‟ to raise worker productivity. New developments indicate that the business use of ICT will increase in the next years. It is

    also essential to adapt the working environment through efficient use of ICT in the

    workplace and for a flexible organisation of safe and high quality work.

    Objective 2: World class performance in research and innovation in ICT by closing

    the gap with Europe’s leading competitors.

    The Lisbon Strategy emphasises investment in research and innovation to generate

    growth and jobs. When Europe is successful at invention, it sometimes fails to innovate.

    i2010 will therefore actively seek to reduce barriers between research results and

    economic rewards.

     7 Comparable data for EU 25 will be available by the end of 2005. 8 "Investment in ICT Research, Comparative Study”, IDATE 2002.

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The Commission has recently launched two major proposals to strengthen Europe‟s

    position in ICT; the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) and the 9Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP). In its proposal for FP7, the Commission asks for a substantial increase in the ICT research budget. This will

    contribute to closing the ICT gap with other leading economies if it is fully

    complemented by increases in private and public research spending.

    The Commission will encourage the transformation of technological progress into

    innovative applications and services in the public and private sector. It will support

    approaches that are high risk and creative and building scale through private-public 10partnerships that mobilise the know-how, capabilities and financial resources of 11industry and research around strategic research priorities. The Commission will

    prioritise its strategic research in areas where European added value is greatest and

    where impact on growth and jobs is highest. In FP7 the technology pillars are:

    ? technologies for knowledge, content and creativity - including cognition, simulation

    and visualisation;

    ? advanced and open communication networks;

    ? secure and dependable software;

    ? embedded systems;

    ? nanoelectronics.

    The co-ordination of the Commission‟s research and deployment instruments will be

    enhanced by focusing them on key bottlenecks such as interoperability, security and reliability, identity management, rights management and ease of use. Research and

    deployment instruments will be coordinated to demonstrate technological and

    organisational solutions in areas, where a shared EU level approach can help to build

    economies of scale and encourage investors.

    The Commission also intends to encourage investment in ICT research and innovation

    in Europe through complementary measures. The Commission will support strategic co-operation between ICT research programmes by bringing together national and

    European-level activities and by building on the experience of shared infrastructures

    such as GÉANT. It will monitor expenditure performance by both the public and private

    sectors. It will also promote education and training policies so that Europe has the skills

    it needs to research, innovate and use ICT.

    In support of the take-up of ICT the Commission intends to propose an integrated

    policy on e-business giving special attention to SMEs. This should be complemented by

    support under the Structural and Rural Development Funds.

     9 FP7 proposes to attribute 1 800 m? annually to ICT. The ICT Policy Support Programme of the

    CIP proposes 800 m? for 2007 to 2013 to encourage take-up and use of ICT. 10 Including European Technology Platforms or Joint Technology Initiatives. 11 Research in nanoelectronics will be supported and coordinated by the Commission according to

    the proposal of FP7 and in line with the vision and the strategic research agenda of the European

    Technology Platform on Nanoelectronics.

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In summary, to launch the i2010 agenda on raising investment in research and

    innovation the Commission will:

    Propose an 80% increase in Community ICT research support by 2010 and invite the member states to do the same

    Prioritise strategic ICT research around FP7 key technology pillars (2007) Launch research and deployment initiatives to overcome key bottlenecks that require both technological and organisational solutions (2006)

    Define complementary measures to encourage private investments in ICT research and innovation (2006)

    Make specific proposals on an Information Society for all in the Community Strategic Guidelines on Cohesion 2007-2013

    Define e-business policies aiming to remove technological, organisational and legal barriers to

    ICT adoption with a focus on SMEs

    Develop tools to support new patterns of work that enhance innovation in enterprises and

    adaptation to new skill needs

    4. INCLUSION, BETTER PUBLIC SERVICES AND QUALITY OF LIFE As the use of ICT grows, so does its impact on society. i2010 recognises this in three

    ways: making sure that ICT benefit all citizens; making public services better, more cost effective and more accessible; and improving quality of life. ICT are becoming more widely used and are benefiting more people. But today over

    half of the EU population either does not reap these benefits in full or is effectively cut

    off from them. Reinforcing social, economic and territorial cohesion by making ICT products and services more accessible, including in regions lagging behind, is an

    economic, social, ethical and political imperative. In i2010, strong emphasis is given to full participation and to providing people with basic digital competence.

    Public services are a major part of the European economy. For example, public

    procurement accounts for 16% of GDP. A key challenge is to make these services

    better, more accessible and more cost-effective. Considerable advances have been

    achieved in the rollout of ICT-based public services. Successes are already being

    registered: for example, on-line tax returns save millions of hours each year. However,

    much remains to be done to demonstrate economic impact and social acceptance.

    ICT can contribute strongly to improvements in the quality of life. ICT are capable of improving the health of our citizens via new ICT enabled medical and welfare services.

    In light of the demographic challenges facing Europe, ICT can help make public health

    and welfare systems more efficient and effective. ICT can be a strong force for

    reinforcing Europe's cultural diversity by making our heritage and our cultural creations

    available to a wider number of citizens. ICT are also a tool for environmental

    sustainability, e.g. through monitoring and disaster management and through clean, low

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