Information and communication technologies
The dissemination of information and communication technologies (ICT) across the Union’s economy is a major lever for improving both productivity levels and the competitiveness of regions while encouraging the re-organisation of production methods and the emergence of new business.
EU structural funds can ensure uptake of ICTs by firms and households and promote development through the balanced support to the supply and demand of ICT products in public and private services including the promotion of an open and competitive digital economy, an inclusive society and the provision of infrastructure, where the market fails to provide it at an affordable cost and to an adequate level, especially in remote and rural areas and in new Member States.
For 2007-2013 the funds allocated to ICTs show an important absolute and relative increase to over EUR 15 billion or 4.4% of the total cohesion policy budget. There is a clear shift in the investment priorities from infrastructure to support for content development, both in the public sector (eHealth, eGovernment, etc.) and for SMEs (eLearning, eBusiness, etc.)