16 March, 2016

ETNO ThinkDigital Blog: Dutch Presidency action plan to seize digital opportunities

Digitisation is everywhere and helps us in ways that we could not have imagined a generation ago. Instead of an economic sector, it has become the driving force behind profound transformation and disruption of virtually every economic sector. New networks and IT solutions help people and business connect and interact, eliminating physical distance and opening up new markets and opportunities.

Digital technology actively contributes to finding solutions to societal challenges, such as an ageing population or pressure on the environment, and is still full of potential to create more growth and jobs in Europe.

The Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union very much welcomes the Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy, which is built on three key pillars to ensure the digital competitiveness of the European economy and society. 

Following a series of broad public consultations, the start of the Dutch Presidency marked the beginning of the first specific legislative deliberations. Negotiations on portability and contract law have been launched by the Presidency, and we expect more to come.

We will pave the way for negotiations and try to bring them forward, contributing to the objectives of the Digital Single market: to create the right conditions for digital networks and services (connectivity), to lower barriers for access to online goods and services across borders, and to maximise the growth potential of the digital economy.  It’s all about connecting and using connections, about digitisation and using digital solutions.

Apart from delivering legislative results, we want to act as facilitators for digital development. All elements of the strategy are connected and the success of one depends on the other: cloud computing will not flourish if users lack skills; smart devices are useless if there is no physical infrastructure they can rely on. We are committed to breaking down barriers for the industry to grow, through innovations and great business ideas. There is no time to waste. Digitisation comes with a promise of growth and jobs. We want to capitalise on that. Our Presidency aims to involve stakeholders in making the right decisions on what Europe truly needs. It is key that any governmental intervention is as simple and effective as possible. Businesses need to do business, so we must refrain from unnecessary administrative burdens.

Our plans: Connecting sectors as the only path to transformation in Europe

Digital is everywhere, so there will be a wide range of events in Brussels and in Amsterdam to discuss its impact and opportunities: from cyber security to eHealth, from e-commerce to quantum technologies. We believe it is key to bring experts and stakeholders together to share their visions in focused expert sessions. But at the same time we strongly believe in an integrated approach. Everything is connected: each sector, each area, heavily depends on the transformation of the other to be able to fully benefit from the opportunities on offer. 

The Commission's new structure brings together all relevant policy areas in a horizontal approach. We want the Council to follow this example. Therefore, we will bring the Telecoms and Competitiveness Ministers together on 26 May 2016 to ensure a comprehensive vision on what Europe truly needs, and to reflect on whether we are on the right track and in which areas we need to speed up. We want to share these findings with the European Council, as we are convinced that commitment from the highest political level is crucial for the success of digitisation in Europe.

But not only political commitment matters. Therefore, the Netherlands invites innovative entrepreneurs and curious citizens to share their views at the more than 20 events we will host in the Netherlands on Digital topics. We want to ensure that every consumer and business can enjoy the opportunities that digitization provides. 

Please find a table of events below, updates can be found here www.eu2016.nl

By Stefan Koreef for ETNO #ThinkDigital, 16 March 2016


Stefan Koreef, Attaché for Telecom, Digital Agenda and Postal at the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU 

Stefan Koreneef is Attaché for Telecom, Digital Agenda and Postal at the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU since 2013.  Before joining the Permanent Representation he was Head of Unit at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Netherlands, responsible for the coordination of international ICT policy and Better Regulation from 2011. From 2008-2011, he was project manager for several telecom and ICT policy projects, such as spectrum auctions and national Digital Agenda.nl, at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

16 March, AmsterdamHigh level Conference on eSkills for Jobs
31 March, The HagueTEDxBinnenhof ‘Ideas from Europe’
31 March – 1 April, The HagueInnovative Enterprise
3-5 April, AmsterdamOpen Science event
14 – 15 April, AmsterdamTransport informal Council (connected cars
18 April, AmsterdamConsumer and Competition Day
20 April, AmsterdamDirectors-General meeting on the Review of the Telecom Framework
27 April, The HagueConference on IDNext
12 -13 May, AmsterdamHigh Level Conference / Ministerial Cyber security event ‘Enabling partnerships for a digitally secure future for EU’
17 May, AmsterdamQuantum Europe 2016
19 -20 May, AmsterdamE-Justice Conference
24 – 28 May, various cities in The NetherlandsStartupFest
26 May, BrusselsTelecoms Council
26 May, BrusselsCOMPET Council
27-29 May, UtrechtCampus Party
30-31 May, BrusselsEYCS Council
1-3 June, AmsterdamConference on Digital and Open Government
6-7 June, AmsterdameHealth week
9-10 June, LuxembourgJHA Council
13 June, AmsterdamSingle Market Forum and Single Market Conference
14 June, AmsterdameIDAS event
22-24 June, Amsterdam / The HagueIndustrial Technologies Conference –Smart Industry
26-27 June, AmsterdamCIO CITY
27 June, AmsterdamLevel Playing Field / Smart Industry
29-30 June, EindhovenEuropean Data Forum
29-30 June, AmsterdamConference on 'Digital chances for culture and cultural heritage’
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