Europe’s app economy is set to surge from revenues of €17.5bn in 2013 to €60bn by 2018, according to the vice president for Digital Single Market at the European Commission Andrus Ansip.
Ansip was speaking at the European Digital Forum, which emerged from the Start-up Manifesto, an action plan for entrepreneurship produced by the Leaders Club of European tech entrepreneurs.
Ansip described small entrepreneurial companies as central to Europe’s digital future.
“They are the ones who will create the ideas and jobs that Europe needs for its economic growth.”
Ge said that the Digital Single Economy will create EU-wide rules that will make it easier for start-ups to sell across borders and scale-up.
He said that reform of Europe’s copyright rules will be a major component of the Digital Single Market and among the first actions to be taken later this year. “Today’s rules are a mess, so we need to act with some urgency. They date back to 2001. They are not suited to the digital age, for responding to new technologies, consumer behaviour and market conditions.”
He said that 20pc of Europeans currently use VPNs to circumvent copyright restrictions and too many people are tempted into illegal downloads. “That just means that everybody loses out – and the creators are first.”
The value of digital innovation
The urgency to fix Europe’s outdated roaming and copyright laws is critical in light of the potential revenues that European start-ups and web entrepreneurs can generate.
In 2013 the EU app economy generated revenues of €17.5bn – this is set to grow to some €60bn by 2018.
“Its workforce is projected to increase from 1.8 million people employed today to reach 4.8 million over the same period. So this is only the start.
“Our smaller tech companies could urgently do with some help: fewer obstacles, and more freedom to innovate and scale up in Europe,” Ansip said.
European Parliament building in Brussels image via Shutterstock