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DSM Watch: Commission presents measures to digitise European Industry

19 April 2016

Today, the European Commission published its Communication on “Digitising European Industry – Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market” together with several other Communications and Staff Working Documents. These documents set out a series of measures and proposals intended to reinforce the EU’s competitiveness in digital technologies and to ensure that every industry in Europe can fully benefit from digital innovations.

Digitising European Industry

Whilst the Communication and its accompanying documentation refer to a variety of plans and initiatives, the emphasis in today’s announcement is on the Commission’s intentions to undertake the following actions:

  • establishing a governance framework to co-ordinate national and regional initiatives for digitizing industry. This includes the installment of a high-level roundtable of Member States’ representatives and industry leaders and social partners (twice a year) and a yearly European stakeholder forum;

  • creating a new European Open Science Cloud that will offer Europe’s 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals a virtual environment to store, share and re-use their scientific research data across disciplines and borders;

  • accelerating the process whereby ICT standards are established by focusing on five priority areas for ICT standard setting: 5G, cloud computing, internet of things, data technologies and cybersecurity;

  • facilitating the co-ordination of, and investment in, public private partnerships as the main vehicles for strategic research and development in digital technologies;

  • promoting within the EU workforce the development and uptake of the key skills and competencies required by the digitisation of the economy;

  • proposing later in 2016 a legislative initiative on the free flow of data within the EU in order to remove or prevent unjustified localization requirements introduced by national legislation;

  • examining in greater detail the emerging issues of data ownership, access and re-use rules as well as exploring the legal frameworks for autonomous systems and IoT applications, in particular safety and liability rules and the legal conditions to allow large scale testing in real life environments; and

  • setting out an e-Government action plan to modernize and transform digital public services.


The Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy – presented in May 2015 – contains in total 16 initiatives in a variety of fields such as telecommunication, consumer rights and Big Data, each of which is intended to bring us one step closer to the European digital single market.

The plans presented today are the first industry-related package under the DSM strategy. They were originally announced by Commission President Juncker in Paris in October 2015. Vice-President Ansip outlined the broad lines of the package in a speech on 5 April 2016. This Communication is accompanied by the following documents: a Staff Working Document: Advancing the Internet of Things in Europe; the Communication on a European Cloud initiative (accompanied by two Staff Working Documents on the Implementation of the Action Plan for the European High-Performance Computing strategy and on Quantum Technologies); the Communication on ICT Standardization Priorities for the Digital Single Market; and the Communication on EU eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 – Accelerating the digital transformation of government (accompanied by a Staff Working Document: Implementation and Evaluation report – Accelerating the digital transformation of government.)

This package follows a first set of proposals adopted in December 2015 on copyright (see our related blog series) and digital contracts (press release) as well as draft decision on spectrum coordination in February 2016 (press release).

About Us

Our DSM Watch team is a multi-jurisdictional, cross-practice group working together to keep you informed as the initiatives under the DSM strategy roll out. Look out for further blog posts from us relating to the documents published today.

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