A Digital Single Market (DSM) is one in which the free movement of persons, services and capital is ensured and where the individuals and businesses can seamlessly access and engage in online activities under conditions of fair competition, and a high level of consumer and personal data protection, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence.
On 10 May 2017, the Commission published a mid-term review of the Digital Single Market Strategy. It presents and evaluates the progress in implementing the Strategy since 2015 and highlights where further actions are needed.
The European Commission has identified the completion of the Digital Single Market (DSM) as one of its 10 political priorities. Vice-President Andrus Ansip leads the project team "A Connected Digital Single Market".
Ongoing Digital Single Market Public consultations help to define the objectives for the implementation.
The Digital Single Market strategy was adopted on the 6 May 2015. It includes 16 specific initiatives which have been delivered by the Commission by January 2017. Legislative proposals are currently being discussed by the co-legislator, the European Parliament and the Council.
A Digital Single Market creates opportunities for new startups and allows existing companies to reach a market of over 500 million people. Completing a Digital Single Market can contribute EUR 415 billion per year to Europe's economy, create jobs and transform our public services.
Furthermore, it offers opportunities for citizens, provided they are equipped with the right digital skills. Enhanced use of digital technologies improve citizens' access to information and culture and improve their job opportunities. It can promote modern open government.
The Digital Single Market Strategy is built on three pillars:
- Access: better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe;
- Environment: creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish;
- Economy & Society: maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.
Digital Single Market's achievements
The Digital Single Market strategy has delivered the main legislative proposals set as priority, specifically in the topics of e-commerce, copyright, audiovisual and media services, telecoms review, ePrivacy, harmonisation of digital rights, affordable parcel delivery, harmonised VAT rules.
In order to ensure a fair, open and secure digital environment, the Commission has identified three main emerging challenges:
- to ensure that online platforms can continue to bring benefit to our economy and society,
- to develop the European Data Economy to its full potential, and
- to protect Europe's assets by tackling cybersecurity challenges.
In addition, the review explores a number of important policy areas critical for unlocking the true value of the data economy:
- digital skills,
- digitising industry and services (e.g. connected cars, FinTech),
- High Performance Computing,
- artificial intelligence,
- modernising public services and egovernment,
- health and care.
The mid-term review also focuses on the investments needed in digital infrastructures and services, not forgetting the global dimension of the European Digital Single Market.