0pen Lettei to the "#$%&'()*(+$+*%'( (Leau Contenueis) foi

Piesiuent of the Euiopean Commission


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_____________

Euiopean 0nion Bigital Champions call on piesiuential canuiuates
to piesent a uigital stiategy fit foi the 21
st
centuiy


To the "#$%&'()*(+$+*%'( foi Piesiuent of the Euiopean Commission:

We aie wiiting to you in oui capacity as auviseis to the Euiopean Commission in
the fielu of uigital agenua. Against this backuiop, we fiimly believe that the next
piesiuent of the Euiopean Commission neeus to be a uigital piesiuent, uniting
behinu this foui-point agenua.

1. Theie is no "uigital economy" - the economy is uigital. The Inteinet anu
uigital communications aie geneial-puipose technologies, tiansfoiming
oui economies as piofounuly as the steam engine uiu in the 18
th
centuiy
oi electiicity uiu in the 19
th
centuiy. This calls foi the next Euiopean
Commission leauei to stieamline the uigital poitfolio acioss all key
uossieis - anu ultimately taking the iesponsibility foi success in this
ciucial aiea.

2. Theie can be no convincing stiategy foi ueliveiing giowth anu cieating
jobs without significantly acceleiating Euiope's peifoimance on uigital
auvancement. Bigital technologies anu the Inteinet contiibuteu to ovei
2u% of economic giowth in the woilu's most auvanceu economies in the
peiiou 2uu4-2uu9, anu looking foiwaiu, the uigital sectoi is expecteu to
giow seven times fastei than oveiall Euiopean 0nion (E0) gioss uomestic
piouuct in coming yeais. It is also key to solving Euiope's unemployment
pioblem: uespite a iecoiu numbei of people out of woik, employeis aie
sciambling to finu canuiuates with uigital skills - by 2u2u theie will be up
to one million unfilleu vacancies foi infoimation anu communications
technology (ICT) piactitioneis acioss the E0. Closing this skills gap - anu
connecting it to a geneiation of young uigital natives that is finuing entiy
into the laboui maiket uifficult - is an oppoitunity that cannot be misseu.
That's why we encouiage the next Euiopean Commission piesiuent to
continue - anu builu on - the ;+./5 0,.92(2,/ <,+ 7282(.9 =,63.

S. A competitive, uynamic economy opeiating at the leauing euge of uigital
technologies is the only way foiwaiu - but it cannot sit on top of an
outuateu, unuei-investeu uigital infiastiuctuie. Nouest estimates put the
piice tag at up to t2uu billion to meet the 2u2u uigital bioaubanu taigets.
This investment in the veiy founuation of futuie giowth anu job cieation
can no longei be postponeu. It neeus to be a top piioiity foi the incoming
leaueiship of the Euiopean Commission, woiking in tanuem with the
membei states anu key stakeholueis to piouuce a convincing time table
with ieal ueliveiables anu ueaulines.

4. Tech entiepieneuiship will be ciucial in poweiing the economic iecoveiy
anu cieate the jobs that Euiope so uigently neeus. Accoiuing to the 0ECB,
the vast majoiity of new jobs aie cieateu by companies five yeais olu oi
youngei. The app economy woikfoice alone is set to go fiom 1.8 million
in 2u1S to 4.8 million by 2u18, moie than tiipling its ievenues fiom t17.S
billion to t6S billion in the same time span. The potential is huge - anu it
calls on policy makeis to iecognise the impoitance of founueis anu stait-
ups in mouein, uynamic economies. That is why we call on you to pleuge
youi suppoit to the >(.+(*- ?./2<%3(, anu incoipoiate its
iecommenuations in youi political piogiamme.

As inuiviuuals opeiating at the leauing euge of innovation anu technology, we aie
eagei to leain moie about youi uigital stiategies anu encouiage you to stait
ueveloping them at an eaily stage. We invite you to shaie youi vision foi a
connecteu, wiieu anu uynamic Euiope as soon as possible, allowing voteis to
make an infoimeu choice at the Euiopean elections on 22-2S Nay 2u14.

Signeu by:

uilles Babinet, Bigital Champion of Fiance
Paul-Anuie Baian, Bigital Champion of Romania
István Eiényi, Bigital Champion of Bungaiy
0nuiej Felix, Bigital Champion of the Czech Republic
}an uulliksen, Bigital Champion of Sweuen
Stelios Bimonas, Bigital Champion of Cypius
uesche }oost, Bigital Champion of ueimany
Kçstutis }uskevicius, Bigital Champion of Lithuania
Linua Liukas, Bigital Champion of Finlanu
Wlouzimieiz Naicinski, Bigital Champion of Polanu
Antonio Nuita, Bigital Champion of Poitugal
Tineke Netelenbos, Bigital Champion of the Netheilanus
Bjoin 0tteisten, Bigital Champion of Luxembouig
Baiko Paiic, Bigital Champion of Cioatia
ueigana Passy, Bigital Champion of Bulgaiia
Petei Pellegiini, Bigital Champion of the Slovak Republic
Ales Spetic, Bigital Champion of Slovenia
uoufiey vella, Bigital Champion of Nalta
Reinis Zitmanis, Bigital Champion of Latvia

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