Is a unified digital market a realistic target?

Digital technologies are borderless in nature, so it makes no sense for the European Union to impose them, said the European Commission (EC).

In a report looking at various problems concerning the digital market, the EC says these borders are pointless:

"It no longer makes sense for each EU country to have its own rules for telecommunications services, copyright, data protection, or the management of radio spectrum,” says the EC.

Tearing down these borders and unifying the digital market, the EU can create billions of euros in profit and open hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

“By fostering a Digital Single Market, we can create up to €340 billion (£250 billion) in additional growth, hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and a vibrant knowledge-based society,” it says.

“Our vision is of a Digital Single Market: making the EU's single market freedoms "go digital," and boosting growth and jobs on our continent.”

In a conversation with V3, commissioner for the digital economy and society Günther Oettinger, said that the situation will only get worse if Europe fails to tackle these concerns.

“Europe cannot be at the forefront of the digital revolution with a patchwork of 28 different rules for telecoms services, copyright, IT security and data protection," he said.

"We need a European market which allows new business models to flourish, startups to grow and the industry to take advantage of the Internet of Things. And people have to invest too - in their IT skills, be it in their job or their leisure time."

The problems have been identified by commissioners from the 28 nations in the EU, and will be formalised into the Digital Single Market Strategy due for publication in May.

The EC is hopeful that it will have a single data protection law in place by the end of the year.