Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Great to meet my young advisers yesterday!

It was again great to meet my young advisers yesterday. These are talented young digital entrepreneurs – and I love talking to them to get their experience and advice about how we can best support the digital world.

I didn't want them to say we're doing well at everything – I want the unvarnished truth. Faced with such a terrible economic crisis, we need to do everything we can to support this flourishing economic sector. And to do that, we need to communicate beyond the "Brussels bubble": we need to talk and listen to real people doing real jobs on the digital frontline. And the unvarnished truth is what I got. They raised a lot of interesting points.  From subjects I'm well familiar with, like the need for a modern, European copyright framework. Plus we had an interesting debate about the need for a more modern, dynamic education system - one that is adapted to digital realities. It's very challenging providing courses and certification in a fast-moving world where practices can change within months; and sometimes, indeed, the best teacher is experience. They also had many stories about the barriers they face as young entrepreneurs. Like a "minimum age" before you can set up a business bank account. How bizarre: after all it's the young people most at risk of high unemployment, and we should welcome their attempts to change that, not put barriers in their way. I'm committed to taking forward what they told me – particularly where it falls within the EU's powers, like difficulties accessing EU regional funding. And in other areas I know these people have the dynamism and energy, not just to identify problems, but find solutions. They were already active yesterday at the launch of our grand coalition – and they have my full confidence in going out to find new evidence and new alliances - and giving us the information and support we need to solve Europe's problems. Check out what those young advisers are saying on Twitter here – or join in the debate with hashtag #DAEideas.


  • All the jazz........ "talented young digital entrepreneurs": IMHO you better avoid the term "talented" after having pissed so many people off with Guttenberg. "the unvarnished truth ... lot of interesting points" - ...blabla... But who are these "advisers" and "young entrepreneurs"? Proven fraudsters, criminals & lobbyists like certain... friends of yours? Seems that you often chose the wrong "advisers" in the past...
  • I think Erti you should check out the young advisers, this is a new idea from the commission, not the usual culprits ie the 'consultants' of the past but a group of young people who have risen through the ranks on their worth, and are not being paid for their efforts. They are doing it because they are full of good ideas, some of which will shape future decisions. They are our hope for the future and are not proven fraudsters or criminals, although some could hopefully be lobbyists, as thus far the future has had no lobby and has listened only to industry and civil servants.  Neelie has chosen well, and they have all been through a rigorous screening, and I think if you follow them on social media you will be very impressed by their words. I know I am. Some very fine ideas already coming forward in the work they are doing for the commission. Let us hope Neelie can implement some of it and keep a group of young advisers to bring fresh light and insights to the corridors of Brussels.
  • Wow, harsh words! You can find the list of young advisors on this page. More detailed info to follow, but a quick Google search will tell you we have a diverse group of young people with many talents and diverse background. Actual founders of successful startups and even established international companies that provide valuable jobs all over the world. And yes, I am also on of the young advisors, so I can personally assure you I am no criminal and have never even been politically active. I, like all my colleagues in my group, am just trying to promote digital skills in my own community and was really happy to exchange ideas with other advisors. There is a lot of good stuff going on and we hope to shine the light on the good stuff everyone is doing. By the way, this is a completely voluntary position, we're not getting paid for our work. We're just happy to share our own experience with VP Kroes, who is really trying hard to make Europe more digitally competitive. But we of course know we're not the only ones doing great work, so we'd love to hear from you if you've got any ideas on how to make the Digital Agenda even better!
  • Good afternoon, I work for a very small Swiss start up with the aim to grow increasingly in the following years. We put a lot of effort and we believe in this digital project. We try to operate internationally to distinguish us from the competitors. The road is still long, the crisis is difficult, but we trust in technologies and new ideas for Web 2.0. Best reagrds, Mary Web marketing
  • Lol ! maybe Erti meant this : >from 1993 to 2001 Kroes relied on astrologers and clairvoyants >for personal and business advice No comment ! Google for "Jan-Dirk Paarlberg" (Neelie's husband). Fits into the picture, too... Also the EU "adviser" Mr Guttenberg (that wasn't just a joke, thats insane). Still asking why people doubt Neelie's competence and mental abilities...? Dunning-Kruger effect ringing a bell... ?! (Any competent adviser would advise her to resign asap.)

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