EU digital chief Guenther Oettinger plans to unveil key proposals for the Digital Single Market in May.
Speaking to the Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Oettinger (pictured) said that Europe needs to quickly overcome the differences in 28 national markets for digital services. His comments were reported by Allgemeine Zeitung.
According to a separate report yesterday, his proposals could include imposing a tax on US internet companies such as Google.
Oettinger told the Wall Street Journal that Europe was currently losing out in the tech sector but this situation could be reversed through investment and by levelling the playing field for all companies.
In today’s speech, he also laid out the schedule for other pieces of forthcoming legislation, including adoption of a unified Data Protection Directive by year-end.
In addition, a framework for data security is planned for summer. Oettinger, who is the EU commissioner for the digital economy and society, also said Europe needs speedy copyright reform and infrastructure strategy.
His timeline for the Digital Single Market echoes that of his colleague Andrus Ansip, the EC’s vice president for the digital single market, speaking last week.
Net neutrality is also on the agenda for Oettinger. Treating all kinds of data equally is a requirement, he said. However, he acknowledged scenarios exist where bandwidth is scarce and certain services must take priority.
The example he gave is if bandwidth is short around a motorway then sending traffic information to the driver is more important than entertainment for children in the backseat.
Separately today (20 January), the EU Council of Ministers published its draft proposals on net neutrality to member states, although it has not been made publicly available. Next week (27 January) there is a meeting for member states to comment on the proposals in detail.
Once the council agrees on a common position, they will negotiate with the European Parliament and the European Commission to confirm a final version.