Inclusive digital Internal Market

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EESC opinion: Inclusive digital Internal Market

Key points:

  • The digital internal market has great potential to promote growth, jobs and prosperity in general. However, a number of citizens are currently still excluded from the benefits of this opportunity. The reasons for such exclusion are sociological, cultural and also legislative. The EESC has identified a number of challenges and barriers that are currently preventing the citizen from truly being at the heart of the digital single market (infrastructure problems; unclear legal framework, unclear definition of citizens' rights, lack of implementation of complaint resolution schemes, discrepancies in the consumer environment in different Member States, cybersecurity, lack of implementation of e‑procurement, e-signatures and e-Government services).
  • A digital - future-proof - single market needs the citizen as an economic, social and political actor at its heart, in line with the four basic freedoms of the internal market. To this end, a number of actions must be taken:

a) Free and universal access
b) Open internet and net neutrality
c) Prevention of abuses
d) ICT standardisation
e) Inter-operability and inter-connectivity
f) Cloud computing
g) Price control, i.e. minimum tariffs
h) Education and training
i) Protection against cyber-fraud and cybercrime (e.g. piracy and counterfeiting)
j) Safety (incl. data protection and privacy, protection of children, the elderly and the disabled)
k) A charter of Digital Rights
l) Application of the consumer rights directive to digital  content
m) Revision of the legislation on e-commerce,    e-payments, mobile telephony, etc.
n) Revision of broadcasting policy
o) Information campaigns
p) Participation and involvement of civil society at all levels of political decision-making
q) Publication of an EU guide to digital services.