GRTU Director General and EESC Employers Representative Vincent Farrugia has this week participated at the EESC Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society, which amongst several other papers discussed the draft EESC Opinion on: Digital market as a driver for growth. Mr Farrugia was Rapporteur of a related paper on Expanding the use of eProcurement in the EU, which was adopted as EESC Opinion last year.
The digital economy profoundly alters habits and affects the entire social and economic fabric of our societies. Its security and interoperability are crucial. The Union's Digital Agenda is one of the flagship initiatives of the EU 2020 strategy.
Aware of the challenges, the Danish presidency has asked the EESC to identify what needs to be done in order to make it a driver of growth. Any consideration of the digital economy should involve social and civil dialogue, as well as agreements and partnerships.
The market for the market's sake is not an end in itself. ICTs must be a means to serve the economy and must not threaten our economic, social, human and cultural gains. Producing and trading online and developing the digital economy changes the employment market. The EESC called for more visibility and information for entrepreneurs and consumers, and appropriate safeguards for all.
The EU is lagging behind the great designers and providers (United States) and the great manufacturers (Asia). It should urgently implement the whole of its digital strategy and shift its approach towards confronting the challenges, both short-term (IPRs) and long-term (ageing of the population). The EESC's priorities are:
Triggering growth through ICTs
Creating growth by means of confidence in the digital economy
Developing productivity and inclusive growth
ICTs as a lever for sustainable growth