Friday, 10 June 2011

EU2020: Sweden from Broadband strategy to Digital agenda

If the European Union wants the Europe 2020 (EU 2020) growth strategy to counter the decline in competitiveness, one of the places to look is Sweden, which successfully combines economic progress and social inclusion.

One of the seven flagship initiatives of the EU2020 strategy is the Digital Agenda for Europe.

The first Digital Agenda Scoreboard SEC(2011) 708 and the country-specific data show that Sweden is one of the leading European countries with regard to broadband, Internet usage and eGovernment, as well as the adoption of EU legislation and progress on regulatory issues.

Broadband strategy

Previously, the Swedish government took strategic initiatives to support digitalisation in several key policy areas via an eGovernment action plan, a broadband strategy for Sweden and a national IT strategy for health care and social services.

For instance, in November 2009 the government of Sweden published a national strategy for broadband development, including an English version:

Broadband strategy for Sweden (Government Offices of Sweden, Ministry of Enterprise Energy and Communications; 36 pages)

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency PTS has just reported on the follow-up of the government's broadband strategy, the roll-out of broadband infrastructure and the Swedish telecom market (links under Latest documents).

Digital agenda

Without discarding the ongoing strategies, in the footsteps of the EU Digital Agenda the Swedish government is now broadening its IT policy work by preparing its national Digital agenda:

The digital agenda will supplement ongoing initiatives. It will coordinate IT measures in areas such as security, infrastructure, skills provision, trust, accessibility, functionality, standards, entrepreneurship and innovation.

The government clearly wants Sweden to stay on the top in the digital world:

The digital agenda will be a cross-cutting, coherent strategy for the whole of Sweden that aims to make full use of the benefits of information technology. The digital agenda will set clear objectives for all relevant areas so that Sweden can continue to be the most successful digital economy.

The Government's ambition is for Sweden to be at the forefront in using IT to achieve growth, welfare, democratic and climate objectives. The role of the Government is to direct and create an appropriate regulatory framework, and in other ways give the market good prospects of offering solutions.

Visit Sweden and the other Nordic countries – at least digitally – for hope-inspiring views for an old and sometimes ailing Continent.

Ralf Grahn

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