Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Digital Agenda performance targets

A number of the aims of A Digital Agenda for Europe have been turned into measurable targets, mainly in the medium term (by 2015).

What can European businesses and citizens expect from their digital environment?

Annex 2 (pages 40-41) of the Digital Agenda communication offers us the following Key Performance Targets, mainly drawn from the Benchmarking framework 2011-2015 endorsed by the EU member states in November 2009:

1. Broadband targets:

• Basic broadband for all by 2013: basic broadband coverage for 100% of EU citizens. (Baseline: Total DSL coverage (as % of the total EU population) was at 93% in December 2008.)

• Fast broadband by 2020: broadband coverage at 30 Mbps or more for 100% of EU citizens. (Baseline: 23% of broadband subscriptions were with at least 10 Mbps in January 2010.)

• Ultra-fast broadband by 2020: 50% of European households should have subscriptions above 100Mbps. (No baseline)

2. Digital single market:

• Promoting eCommerce: 50% of the population should be buying online by 2015. (Baseline: In 2009, 37 % of the individuals aged 16-74 ordered goods or services for private use in the last 12 months.)

• Cross-border eCommerce: 20% of the population should buy cross border online by 2015. (Baseline: In 2009, 8 % of the individuals aged 16-74 ordered goods or services from sellers from other EU countries in the last 12 months.)

• eCommerce for business: 33% of SMEs should conduct online purchases/sales by 2015. (Baseline: During 2008, 24% and 12% of enterprises was, respectively, purchasing/selling electronically, for an amount equal to or greater than 1% of the turnover/total purchases.

• Single market for telecoms services: the difference between roaming and national tariffs should approach zero by 2015. (Baseline: In 2009, the roaming average price per minute was 0.38 cents (call made) and the average price per minute for all calls in the EU was 0.13 cents (roaming included).

3. Digital inclusion:

• Increase regular internet use from 60% to 75% by 2015 and from 41% to 60% for disadvantaged people. (Baseline figures are for 2009).

• Halve the proportion of population that has never used the internet by 2015 (to 15%). (Baseline: In 2009, 30% of individuals aged 16-74 had never used the internet.)

4. Public services:

• eGovernment by 2015: 50% of citizens using eGovernment, with more than half of them returning filled in forms. (Baseline: In 2009, 38% of individuals aged 16-74 had used eGovernment services in the last 12 months, and 47% of them used eGovernment services for sending filled forms.)

• Cross-border public services: by 2015 online availability of all the key crossborder public services contained in the list to be agreed by Member States by 2011. (No baseline)

5. Research & innovation:

• ICT R&D increase: Double public investment to €11 billion. (Baseline: ICT government budget appropriations or outlays on R&D (ICT GBAORD) was 5,7 billion nominal euros in 2007.)

6. Low Carbon Economy:

• Promotion of low energy lighting: By 2020 at least 20% overall reduction in energy use on lighting. (No baseline.)

Digital Agenda context and contents

The communication Europe 2020 A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth COM(2010) 2020 outlined A Digital Agenda for Europe, one of the seven flagship initiatives.

The Digital Agenda was launched 19 May 2010, but about three months later the first Digital Agenda communication was replaced by a corrected version in all languages. I do not remember seeing any explanation for substituting the original communication. The English communication comes with the same warning as the other language versions:

Annule et remplace le document COM(2010) 245 final du 19.5.2010
Concerne toutes les versions linguistiques

A Digital Agenda for Europe; Brussels, 26.8.2010 COM(2010) 245 final/2 (41 pages)

Planned actions

In addition to the aim of ”A vibrant digital single market” the Digital Agenda communication sketched the planned actions concerning interoperability and standards, trust and security, fast and ultra fast internet access, research and innovation, enhancing digital literacy and skills and inclusion, ICT-enabled benefits for EU society, international aspects of the Digital Agenda, and implementation and governance.

Annex 1 Table of legislative actions (pages 37-39) contains a lot of information in a nutshell.

Digital Agenda updates

Although it felt refreshing to return to the original communications, we should not forget that a lot has already happened. We can turn to updated information on the dedicated websites for the EU2020 growth strategy and the seven flagship initiatives intended to be mutually reinforcing, specifically the flagship initiative A Digital Agenda for Europe which brings together the different strands, as well as the reform package known as the Single Market Act (SMA), relevant for the digital single market.

Ralf Grahn