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UK shines light on the problems with the EU digital economy

The UK government has published its UK Vision for the EU’s Digital Economy report, claiming that European legislations is outdated, making it seem “increasingly anachronistic” in today’s world.

According to the document, Europe’s electronic communications landscape has transformed into a digital world and is starting from a great position.

It draws attention to Estonia’s digital public service reform and the start-up scene in Germany as examples as real progress, along with Ireland, Belgium and Sweden’s high broadband speeds.

However, Whitehall claims that there are still a number of challenges to face and compared with the US, it is still too hard to start, fund and scale-up a digital business to compete globally.

“The UK proposes that the EU take bold steps to create an open, flexible market with a regulatory framework that reflects the dynamic nature of the digital economy,” the report says.

“We must avoid knee-jerk reactions to the risks that accompany change, managing these by establishing a clear, simple set of rules that safeguard the rights of all those legitimately taking advantage of the online economy.

“We must also ensure that in an independent world, where supply chains are not just global but virtual and where trade negotiations now cover services and regulation, we use trade agreements to build a global digital economy,” it adds.

Challenges Facing The Digital Economy

In the Digital Economy document, the government reveals it believes a number of consumers are currently disadvantaged because they cannot always access online services they have paid for when travelling in the EU.

It also claims that start-ups do not at the moment have easy access to a large market to work and trade in and innovation is actually being stifled in many parts of Europe.

Whitehall has also highlighted that public services across the continent are not yet digital by default, with some EU members offering a good range of digital services whereas others offer very few.

It adds that European citizens are now always clear about their rights online or how their data with be used by different companies and governments, preventing many from shopping across borders.

“Our vision for the digital single market is one which is digital by default, where it is even easier to operate online across Europe than it is to do things offline in a single state,” claims the report.

“Where online businesses go through administrative processes once, not 28 times, and where football fans can stream matches they’ve already paid for wherever they go,” it adds.

To achieve this vision, the UK says the EU must deliver mobility and security and innovation through competition over the next five years.

It says this can be achieved with updated legislation that meets the requirements of the digital economy and by changing the European tax regime to encourage entrepreneurship.