Digital economy

Digital economy

The potential of the digital economy is not fully exploited in Europe. It can dramatically contribute to innovation, growth and jobs. It is also a powerful tool to fuel the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The European Commission aims to help digital entrepreneurs and works on issues related to the competitiveness of the digital economy, such as e-Invoicing, standardisation and workplace skills.

The importance of the digital economy

The digital economy is developing rapidly worldwide. It is the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth in the world. How well and how quickly European businesses adopt digital technologies will be key for their growth.

Challenges for the EU digital economy

Digital economy policy

The potential of digital technologies to enable competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation was highlighted in the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan. The European Commission is committed to unleashing the opportunities offered by the digital revolution, encouraging the digital transformation of existing businesses and supporting more digital enterprises in Europe.

Digital economy policy

EU actions in the digital economy

Digital entrepreneurship

The Commission works to create new business opportunities and accelerate the transformation of the European business landscape through the use of new digital technologies that can contribute to economic growth and employment.

EU initiatives on digital entrepreneurship

The smart use of ICT for SMEs

The Commission believes that the 'smart' use of ICT by companies in both manufacturing and services is a critical factor for success in innovation, competitiveness and growth. As large companies are moving to exploit the advantages offered by ICT, smaller companies have to follow suit or risk being left out of digital supply chains. A series of demonstration actions in this area has had very positive initial results.

Smart use of ICT and the integration of SMEs in digital value chains

ICT standardisation

The constant evolution of the ICT sector and the continuous emergence of new services, applications, and products means that compatibility between systems is more important than ever. The EU works to ensure that ICT markets remain open and consumers have choice by promoting ICT standardisation, which helps guarantee the competitiveness of the European ICT industry. The Commission can identify ICT technical specifications for referencing in public procurement.

ICT standardisation in the EU


Competitiveness, innovation, and job creation in European industry are increasingly driven by the use of new information and communication technologies. This must be backed up by a workforce with the knowledge and skills to use these new technologies efficiently. The Commission works on a number of initiatives to boost ICT skills in the workforce.

Promoting e-Skills in Europe


Electronic invoicing (e-Invoicing) is the electronic transfer of billing and payment information between business partners. It offers huge efficiency advantages for companies, so the Commission supports several initiatives to promote e-Invoicing in Europe for businesses and public authorities.