The European Commission today launched a public consultation with a view to strengthening the global position of the European ICT sector by ensuring access to international markets.
The consultation process will run until 17 September 2007 and is open to all stakeholders, such as industries, research communities and consumer organisations.
The commission said it aims to capture stakeholder views on market access and on regulatory issues so as to refine its EU strategy for international co-operation on ICT.
“Our ICT industry in Europe needs to think and be global,” said the EU’s Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. “While we have been working hard to create a single telecoms market in Europe, we must not lose sight of the global picture. There are further markets to take abroad for Europe’s ICT industry if we strengthen its competitiveness and remove barriers to trade in third countries.”
The EU represents approximately 30pc of the world ICT market. Electronic communications, embedded computing, micro- and nano-electronics, micro-systems and ‘smart’ integrated systems are Europe’s main industrial and technological strengths. Europe also has six of the world’s top 10 telecommunications providers and four of the top 10 equipment manufacturers.
The commission in particular is working for further progress in multilateral trade relations under the World Trade Organisation, especially regarding trade in services, which is essential for Europe’s ICT sector.
The commission is hoping to develop a strategy for ICT that explores new markets for EU industries, improves the competitiveness of Europe’s ICT industry in global markets and promotes EU interests worldwide.
It is asking stakeholders for input in three areas: regulatory, research and innovation; and social aspects.
The public consultation document is available from:
By Niall Byrne