European Commission VP for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip (pictured) said the EU’s success in deploying the cross-market vision stands as a blueprint for the world’s digital economy.
Addressing the Digital Assembly 2017 in Malta hours after the EU abolished roaming fees, Ansip praised the progress made in Europe’s digital policies and highlighted the potential beyond its borders.
“The Digital Single Market is Europe’s main asset in the international digital economy and society,” he said, adding: “It spans different sectors as they embrace digital technology to innovate, become more efficient and stay globally competitive.
“It reflects the growing importance of the digital economy for growth and jobs, for society, for business and consumers. That not only applies to the Digital Single Market that we are building in Europe. It is the same message that we have for the outside world.”
The EU is currently involved in a range of projects in Africa promoting digitisation, including work in e-agriculture, digital skills, e-governance and supporting start-ups.
It also established a number of partnerships to increase digital skills in countries east of its border, and part-funded a submarine cable between Portugal and Brazil to improve infrastructure in Latin America.
Ansip said the EU’s partnerships were also helpful when negotiating agreements on worldwide issues including cyber security and data protection regulations.
He added representatives were discussing data protection measures with trading partners in Asia – starting with Japan and South Korea – and is set to include the issue in ongoing trade negotiations with Mexico.
“Overall, the EU’s position on the international digital stage is solid and that means a solid opportunity to promote the values of the Digital Single Market, to help create the right policy and regulation environment for the world’s developing digital economy,” he added.
“A secure, fair and balanced global data economy that will serve everyone – wherever they are in the world.”