Ten ICT-breakthroughs for reaching Lisbon
The Hague, August 2004
Europe has set itself the highest target, it wants to become the most
competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, to have sustained and
accelerated economic growth with full employment and a modernised social
protection system. But everyone agrees that the Lisbon targets are still
far away. Structurally, the economic growth rate and worker productivity
are lower than in many comparable countries such as the USA. The key technology
to stimulate growth in Europe is ICT. Although the ICT developments in
the last decade have been spectacular, the potential contribution of ICT
to economic growth and the quality of life is still enormous. However,
it is necessary to take account of the ICT paradigm of today and proven
best practices in an international setting to achieve the best results
in the future.
There are several countries that are very successful with their creation
and implementation of ICT. The few that were investigated in this study:
Korea, India, China, USA and Japan all outperform the EU in many respects.
These countries have bold initiatives and dare to improve their position
in the field of ICT with proactive industrial policies.
Europe too can be successful. Present policies are very useful but not
instrumental enough to enable Europe to catch up with other economic powers.
We have to reconsider the present policies to identify the issues that
are obstructing further progress and consider further the breakthroughs
that could be achieved. In this study we have identified ten of such potential
Breakthrough 1: Shift the e-Business and e-Government policy from the
connectivity to taking up complex ICT applications
- A crucial condition for more economic
growth is a broad deployment and use of ICT by enterprises and public
institutions. Therefore the EU needs national strategies that focus
on flanking investments in skills and organizational transformation.
Special attention is needed for small and medium-sized enterprises
|Breakthrough 2: Standardize ICT environments
in Europe to trigger and enable new business
- Standardization is a prerequisite for
a broad deployment and use of ICT, and will trigger and enable new business.
Pan-European interoperable solutions for electronic authentication and
electronic payments are needed to boost innovation and economic growth
|Breakthrough 3: Accelerate the introduction
of disruptive technologies
- The speed with which new technologies
are accepted and put to work has a serious impact on economic growth.
The EU needs to play a key role by accelerating the introduction of
new (disruptive) technologies like smart tags and Voice-over IP.
|Breakthrough 4: Realize the vision of 'any
content, anytime, anywhere, any platform'
- Content is considered an important engine
for future economic growth and employment. The EU needs to fuel this
engine by realizing the vision of 'any content, anytime, anywhere, any
platform' by e.g. introducting multiplatform access for content producers
and new digital rights management regimes.
|Breakthrough 5: Go for global platform
leadership in the ICT industry
- An excellent and competitive European
ICT industry is a crucial condition for economic growth and employment.
The EU needs to define a strategy towards global leadership in specific
areas, for example by stimulating a (new) European standards policy
(in cooperation with the market) and making an explicit choice for e.g.
the future of 3G mobile telecom in Europe.
|Breakthrough 6: Develop a strategic response
to job migration to low-wage countries
- Economic growth and employment can be
seriously affected by the accelerated job migration to low-wage countries.
The EU needs to develop a strategic response.
|Breakthrough 7: Remove barriers for the
development of an innovating European electronic communications sector
- The electronic communications sector is
a proven source for economic growth and employment. The EU needs to
anticipate in an early stage the barriers for investments in next generation
|Breakthrough 8: Move to a new and flexible
model of spectrum allocation
- The spectrum is one of the major battlefields
for innovation and new business. Modernization of spectrum policies
will have a large economic impact. Therefore the EU urgently needs to
make its rigid spectrum allocation model flexible.
|Breakthrough 9: Enforce real solutions
for consumer confidence and security
- A crucial condition for a broad deployment
and use of ICT by business and consumers is user confidence. Therefore
the EU needs to enforce structural solutions for viruses and spam by
creating liabilities, give priority to cybercrime within law enforcement
and ensure the availability of critical infrastructures.
|Breakthrough 10: Shift e-Inclusion policy
from 'access for all' to 'skills for all'
- A crucial step for a broad deployment
and use of ICT by consumers is that Europe's e-Inclusion policy does
not only focus on broadband access, but also on the skills Europeans
need to participate in the information society. Therefore the EU needs
to redefine the current universal service obligation and adopt strategies
for improving ICT skills.
The full report is available: click
Visit also the conference about
future of ICT' and the sections with