A pro-active mindset in business is needed to open up to increasing flows of data and develop the ability to process big data. Flexible and more adaptable business models must be put in place in the context of the current transformation process.
The Commission should carry out a precise analysis of the state of play and of defensive attitudes to the free flow of data in the Member States in order to remove unjustified barriers by putting the right legal and technical provisions in place. Removing unjustified barriers to free flow of data should be an integral part of a Europe-wide industrial policy. Opening up of national markets should also be covered by the European Semester.
As a matter of principle, contractual freedom in the private sector should be respected. A general EU framework for standards is desirable but standards should in no way hamper innovation. Portability should be promoted.
The EESC supports the Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic area, which sets out priorities for research and investment in the region and provides considerable European added value in terms of boosting blue growth under the Europe 2020 strategy. Cooperation will develop within this strategic framework between authorities and social and economic operators in the Atlantic regions of the five Member States concerned: Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Portugal.