Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Connecting with my Young Advisers

I meet some of Europe's most energetic & thoughtful entrepreneurs...

Yesterday, I had my second meeting with some "Young Advisers" - a group of young Europeans on the front line of the Digital Agenda - from commerce to education and science. The digital revolution – with the right support - will lift Europe out of this crisis. And connecting with this kind of real-life experience is essential if the Digital Agenda is to succeed. What a lot of energy and focus in one room! They certainly weren't shy in coming forward and telling me not just what we did well, but what we can do better – exactly what I was hoping for. So what did I learn? Well, it's clear that for the younger generation the crisis is changing the jobs landscape – it's now a place where comfortable public sector jobs are no longer an easy option; online opportunities are offering a real and attractive alternative. But we - the EU and Member State governments - need to make it easier. There were comments and ideas on everything like how the EU can help start-ups (clue:  providing support, contacts and visibility can be more helpful than just money). Plus, how to promote entrepreneurial skills throughout the chain – from teaching them in schools, to including them in EU projects (or indeed, stopping thinking of them as time-limited "projects" at all, but rather as the seeds of potentially viable business ideas).

... and they give me food for thought

Those in e-Commerce reminded me how valuable could be concepts like e-Invoicing or pan-European trustmarks. While those involved with online radio stressed just how difficult current rules make online initiatives for creative content - rights clearance can involve dealing with not just one but multiple collecting societies for each member state in which you broadcast. There was considerable frustration at how long it is taking the Commission to come forward with a multi-territorial, multi-device copyright regime. Others looked into other areas of policy - like planning regulations. After all, these days you wouldn't think of building something without electricity or running water - why shouldn't increasingly essential high-speed Internet be included in all new homes? And for the EU's action, I got good feedback both about where the EU could do better – like when we put unnecessary bureaucracy on the shoulders of research funding applicants, or don't communicate the results effectively; but also on success stories, like e-Twinning in our education system. All in all, a reminder of the importance of the task and the many challenges that lie ahead. I hope to carry on talking to this valuable group of experts – and that they will help us, too, by communicating their message about the importance of a sound framework for ICT, in all four corners of Europe. In the meantime, for those of you who want some insight into what's on the minds of Europe's e-innovators – here's a Twitter list of all my young advisers. Follow it – I will be!


  • It´s a shame for this honorable young People to stand on the side of a fraudster Ms. Kroes, you work with criminals and so long Guttenberg is part of your Team nobody can take you serious
  • Oh, where is the advisor and cheater Mr. zu Guttenberg, Mrs. Kroes? We don`t trust you!!
  • Here are the key points I took away from the meeting, and some challenges, too, for the Commission:
  • I would be interested how mich money we all waste on this "funny group" of communist collaborators (incl. travel expenses between New Moscow and Strassbourg)!? Transparency and democracy is so important except when you have to practice it EUrats!
  • That's a shame that young people still fall that liberal-bolshevik rubbish!
  • don't worry, this is the fall of our age, new order will come; these guys are just the trumpets of the apocallypse
  • Some of "Europe's most energetic & thoughtful entrepreneurs" in...? Apart from all the codswallop: Why do they advise you? Are these "e-innovators" successful fraudsters, data protection infringers, online criminals or cyber astrologers and fortunetellers? By the way, are you afraid of asking competent Internet experts? Why not joining an Anti-ACTA demonstration in Brussels for singling out folks from the present organisations right there? It seems to me that you always adress the wrong "experts"...
  • Madam Kroes, You are getting a lot of bad mail from Hungarians. Well I sent you a thoughtful one on Facebook. Please read it. Perhaps you gain some understanding of what is going on in Hungary. Thank you P. Ritter
  • > You are getting a lot of bad mail from Hungarians ...and deservedly so! > Perhaps you gain some understanding of what is going on in Hungary Don't you think she's just overwhelmed?
  • We've known since the ages that E-commerce can boost European economy and GDP but apart for the Nordic countries like Norway, Sweden this perspective seems to be dead. Sure, there are some changes during 5 last years but working in a e-commerce company I don't see a real help of my government (FR). Each time we ask for a loan or we present a product the "old" industries (cars, textile) have more value.  I'd like e-commerce area be at the same level as it is in USA but for this we, European people , should change our mind
  • This is awesome stuff.! I was wondering how I may get involved with EU Digital Agenda, Young Advisers or related activity? Can anyone advise me?  Would love to be a part of it! Find out more about me and my role (experience) in UK GOV digital here: Thanks @MattNavarraUK

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