The Digital Agenda presented by the European Commission forms one of the seven pillars of the Europe 2020 Strategy which sets objectives for the growth of the European Union (EU) by 2020. The Digital Agenda proposes to better exploit the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in order to foster innovation, economic growth and progress.

The European Commission's Digital Agenda forms one of the seven pillars of the Europe 2020 Strategy which sets objectives for the growth of the European Union (EU) by 2020.

The Digital Agenda's main objective is to develop a digital single market in order to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe, and it is made up of seven pillars.

Achieving the digital single market

More and more of us manage our lives online, and we need know that we are fully protected, and we are getting what we expect: high quality service throughout the EU. EU law gives us the right to travel, work or trade anywhere in the EU – whether we're going on holiday or setting up a business – but the Internet does not stop at the border. We should benefit from the best content, deals and services, wherever we are in the EU , without being geo-blocked. Businesses should be able to market and share their bright ideas across the EU. In May 2015 the European Commission will come forward with a Digital Single Market strategy.

Enhancing interoperability and standards

The EU must enhance the interoperability of devices, applications, data repositories, services and networks. In order to do this, it is essential that the Commission continues the review of its standard-setting policy. It must also promote appropriate rules for intellectual property rights.

Strengthening online trust and security

Europe must strengthen its policy to combat cybercrime, child pornography and breaches of privacy and personal data security. The Commission presented measures on network and information security and the fight against cyber attacks in 2013 which will soon become EU law. We want to know what's happening to our personal data, and we need to know that the rules of the game are the same in all countries of the EU.

In parallel, Member States should take measures to establish a well-functioning network at national level and carry out large-scale cyber attack simulations. National alert platforms should be adapted to the Europol cybercrime platform.

Promoting fast and ultra fast Internet access for all

Europe needs competitively priced fast and ultra fast Internet access for all. To achieve this, the EU must establish next generation access networks (NGAs). The Commission is channelling some of its public funds, via different instruments, to invest in broadband infrastructure..

Investing in research and innovation

We must invest in world-class ICT research and innovation in order to boost growth and jobs via innovative Public-Private Partnerships and by exploiting the opportunities available through Horizon 2020 research funding programs. We must catch up with our main competitors in ICT research and digital innovation.

Promoting digital literacy, skills and inclusion

Although the Internet is part of daily life for many of us, some parts of the population are still excluded from media literacy in the digital environment. And we are facing a crisis of a shortage of employees with digital skills across the EU.

In order to promote employment in the ICT field, and in jobs which require digital skills, the Commission created the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs and Skills in 2013. This is a multi-stakeholder partnership that endeavours to facilitate collaboration among business and education providers, public and private actors to take action attracting young people into ICT education, and to retrain unemployed people.

In order to overcome unequal access to digital literacy by European citizens, Member States should promote e-accessibility in particular when applying the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

ICT-enabled benefits for EU society

The EU must exploit the potential offered by the use of ICTs in the following areas:

  • climate change, through partnerships with emitting sectors,
  • managing ageing population, through e-health and telemedicine systems and services,
  • digitisation of content, through Europeana,
  • intelligent transport systems, by applying the proposed Directive.

Read more about creating an inclusive digital society.