Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN) - Related Opinions
The EESC welcomes the Commission’s Wifi4EU initiative aimed at rolling out free internet access in public places as it will deliver benefits both in terms of accessibility and economic growth. Together with a single digital identity throughout Europe, proposed by the EESC, this would have a considerable impact in terms of strengthening the sense of European citizenship and overcoming digital poverty.
The Committee calls for a high-quality free WiFi service to be deployed and therefore calls on the Commission to establish goals for social as well as technological development.
The EESC considers Wifi4EU to be a strategic project and considers that its EUR 120 million budget is inadequate to cover the needs of the whole of Europe. It calls on the Commission to supplement the public initiative with public-private partnerships.
- The EESC welcomes the Communication from the Commission confirming the importance of Internet connectivity for the Digital Single Market and the need for Europe to deploy now the networks for its digital future.
- The EESC notes that the Strategic Objectives for 2025 are ambitious but realistic, although they are largely dependent on national funding (private and public). There is a particular need for public investments to cover all remotes areas and guarantee minimum digital access for the vulnerable members of our society.
- The EESC agrees with the proposal to introduce a voucher system for small communities and SMEs and supports the free "WIFI4EU" initiative for all Europeans in public places, public administrations, libraries and hospitals as well as outdoor spaces even. It recommends following eIDAS digital identity, which offers guarantees for data protection and public security against.
Position of the Council at first reading with a view to the adoption of a Directive of the EP and of the Council concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union
The EESC is in favour of the Commission's proposal which introduces a new approach to safety rules, based on risk assessment and performance.The EESC also supports the proposal to give EASA greater responsibility for security, in cooperation and in agreement with the Member States.The successful implementation of these changes in working methods and culture require adequate resources and a transparent and inclusive approach.